Rivers State Government has ordered the closure of all schools in the state and directed religious organisations to restrict their activities as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic.
In a broadcast on Friday, Rivers State Governor State, Nyesom Wike, said the action was taken in the interest of the state.
The closure, according to the governor, affects public and private primary, secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
He said, “To further strengthen our resolve to protect our citizens, the State Government has taken the following decisions;
”All schools in the state are to be closed down with effect from Monday, March 23, 2020. All religious organisations are to restrict their activities.
“As you are aware, the World Health Organisation has described coronavirus as a pandemic. This development calls for collective action by all well-meaning citizens.
“As a responsive government, we have set up a five-man Inter-ministerial committee to carry out aggressive public enlightenment that will protect all those living and doing business in the state from the disease.
“This decision was taken because we understand that we are the headquarters of the Hydrocarbon Industry and also a major commercial hub in the country that attracts people from all walks of life.
“The committee had since its inauguration carried out stakeholder engagement with Community Development Committees, religious groups, principals and headteachers of schools, traders association, National Union of Road Transport Workers, military, paramilitary, police, international oil companies and Association of Local Government Chairmen of Nigeria.
“The State Ministry of Health has also been empowered to set up intervention resources; 158 Surveillance and Ad-hoc personnel have been trained, one treatment centre, holding centres in the two teaching hospitals and all General Hospitals in the state are fully functional.
“All health workers, both private and public have been trained and briefed on infection control measures and appropriate use of personal protective equipment, hand sanitizers have been procured, infrared thermometers have been procured and stockpiling of other commodities and equipment and we have redoubled surveillance at our airports, seaports, waterways and land routes.
“Let me assure all those resident in the state, that the State Government under my leadership is ready and willing to protect their lives at all times.
“May I, therefore, call for the understanding and collective support of all and sundry to keep our state safe from coronavirus. Together, we shall win with God on our side.”