The Delta State Government has expressed fears over the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic following the recent deaths recorded and spike in some areas of the country.
Against this backdrop, the state government has announced a partial lockdown across the state also as it warned residents to, as a matter of urgency and importance, adhere strictly to all COVID-19 protocols and guidelines such as mandatory use of face masks, handwashing, use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers and social distancing.
Announcing the partial lockdown on Thursday, the Secretary to the State Government, Chiedu Ebie, in a statement obtained by SaharaReporters, ordered the immediate shutdown of all night clubs with effect from December 25, 2020, while all government staff members below grade level 12 are to proceed on extended Christmas holiday till further notice.
The statement reads, "The state government wishes to remind all of the exigencies that have been imposed on the world at large by the COVID-19 pandemic for several months now. And based on the advice of medical experts on the resurgence of a second wave of the pandemic which is reportedly more virulent, there have been serious health concerns across the globe.
"In view of this development, and in line with the recent Federal Government advisory, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has directed the general observance of a number of COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, which include the mandatory use of face masks, handwashing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers and social distancing.
"In the meantime, all night clubs are closed with effect from December 25, 2020. All informal and formal festivity events including weddings, burials, conferences, congresses, office parties, concerts, seminars, end of year events shall be restricted to not more than 50 persons. All persons above the age of 60 and/or with comorbidities are to be encouraged to stay at home and avoid crowds.
"All bars, lounges, restaurants, eateries, event centres, cinema houses as well as recreational venues are to operate at not more than 50 per cent capacity. All public spaces should run on 50 per cent capacity basis; virtual meetings should be encouraged for business purposes and among social groups. All government staff members below grade level 12 are to proceed on extended Christmas holidays till further notice.
“All gatherings linked to religious activities are to operate at not more than 50% capacity of the facility in use and ensure mandatory use of face masks, hand sanitisers and social distancing. Where possible, multiple services should be adopted. Public and private primary, secondary and tertiary institutions are to remain closed till Monday, January 11, 2021.
"Overloading of vehicles should be discouraged and it is mandatory for passengers or commuters to use face masks while drivers should ensure good ventilation and sanitary condition of vehicles. All malls, shopping centres, markets and other business centres must adopt the earlier mentioned protocols and guidelines regarding the use of face masks and observing others like handwashing and social distancing."
The statement however noted that relevant taskforce teams and security agencies had been directed to ensure compliance "as we continue to engage all critical stakeholders, including communities and religious leaders to assist in sensitising their followers, kinsmen and the general public to comply with these guidelines."