The Rivers State Government has issued a two-day suspension of total lockdown in the Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas of the state with effect from Tuesday, May 12, 2020, saying that residents would be allowed to make preparations ahead of the re-commencement of the stay-at-home order.
It said that businesses would be allowed to open and residents would be able to carry out commercial activities as well as make adequate purchases ahead of the soon to be re-implemented lockdown.
The State Governor, Nyesom Wike, who revealed that the decision had come as a response to several propositions by well-meaning residents, stated that the lockdown suspension would enable residents to gain some fresh air, as well as replenish supplies of foodstuff and medicines.
Wike, while speaking to newsmen in the state, disclosed that the stay-at-home directive would be re-started on Thursday, 14th May 2020, and advised residents to take advantage of the two days of free movement.
He said that businesses that would be allowed operations during the two days suspension included shops, supermarkets, malls, hospitals, banks, and others, and added that oil and gas companies would be required to submit lists of essential staff to the state government.
“All shops, supermarkets, and malls can open to the public for Tuesday and Wednesday, 12 and 13 May 2020. Similarly, all hospitals and banks can also open and provide full services to the public,”
“While oil and gas companies are required to submit the list of their staff on essential duties to the government, note that there is no ban on the lifting of petroleum products from depots and other receptacles,”
“The total lockdown on Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt Local Government Areas will be reinstated on Thursday 14th May 2020 and remain until further notice.”
Wike reiterated that the Executive Orders on social distancing and compulsory facemasks use would remain in effect during the two-day suspension period and urged residents to ensure compliance with the state coronavirus preventive directives.
“Compulsory wearing of face mask in vehicles and public places, closure of all land, sea and air borders and entry routes into the state; and closure of all open markets, including slaughters, hotels, guest houses, cinemas, bars, and restaurants, etc. Please note that our enemy is invisible. Stay at home, maintain social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and stay safe”, he said.