COVID-19: Rivers Shuts All Borders Against Neighbouring States

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The Rivers State Government on Wednesday announced the closure of all air, sea and land routes into the state in a move to check the spread of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) to the State.

A statement on Wednesday by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant (Electronic Media) to Governor Nyesom Wike, stated: “The measure became necessary in view of recent developments.”

According to the statement, the measure will take effect “from 6am on Thursday March 26, 2020”.

Nwakaudu also stated that Wike announced the measures in a statewide broadcast on Wednesday.

He said: “It is with gratitude to God that I announce to you that our State would have been infected with coronavirus yesterday, but for the vigilance of security agents who, acting on a tip-off prevented an infected person from boarding a flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt.

“The infected person beat all security measures that were put in place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and was to sneak into Port Harcourt before security agents stopped her.

“Based on this alarming Information, the State Security Council met yesterday and reviewed measures already put in place and decided that there was urgent need to adopt stringent measures to protect those living and doing business in the state from the virus.

“The council has therefore taken the following painful decisions. With effect from 6pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020, the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa will not be open to air traffic.

“While we may not have the right to stop flights from entering Port Harcourt, we cannot allow anybody coming from the airport to enter our State.

“We are confident that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and other federal agencies will cooperate with us.

“All Land and Sea Borders will be closed. Vehicular movements in an out of the state have been banned.

“In essence no vehicle will leave Rivers State for any other State and no vehicle will be allowed to enter the state.”

Wike said the new measures will be in place until further notice.

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'Dotun Akintomide's journalism works intersect business, environment, politics and developmental issues. Among a number of local and international publications, his work has appeared in the New York Times. He's a winner of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Award. Currently, the Online Editor at The New Diplomat, Akintomide has produced reports that uniquely spoke to Nigeria's experience on Climate Change issues. When Akintomide is not writing, volunteering or working on a media project, you can find him seeing beautiful sites like the sandy beaches that bedecked the Lagos coastline.

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