Newly sworn in Governor of Bayelsa, Sen. Douye Diri, has urged the state House of Assembly to expedite passage of the 2020 Appropriation Bill he would soon present for consideration.

Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on Saturday directed the closure of all public and private schools in the state from March 26 as part of the measures to curb the spread of coronavirus.

Diri, in a statewide broadcast, also announced the prohibition of all public gatherings above 50 persons, including in worship centres and clubs in the state, from March 23.

He said the state government had set up a multi-sectoral task force charged with the responsibility of coordinating and implementing the state’s response to the pandemic.

The governor further announced that he had assumed Chairmanship of the state’s special task force on COVID-19 to personally oversee its activities.

He mandated the Chairmen of all local government areas in the state to do same in their respective councils.

Diri said the state government had strengthened its level of preparedness to contain the pandemic through enlightenments, community engagements and training of frontline health workers.

He said no case of coronavirus had been recorded in the state, but cautioned the residents to adopt the protective measures against the pandemic, including frequent washing of hands under running water and use of hand sanitiser.

He said the state government had scaled up surveillance and improved isolation facilities at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri, Yenagoa Local Government Area.

He said: “Members of the public should eschew rumours and panic, and always make inquiries about COVID-19 by using the designated call centres.

“The contact phone lines are 08039216821, 07019304970 and 08151693570.”

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