Covid-19: Ayade Orders Lockdown of Cross River

Ben Ayade

Bassey Inyang in Calabar

The Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, has issued directives that can be described as a total lockdown of the state from Tuesday, March 24, to forestall any possible spread of the Covid-19 into, and within the territory.

Among the measures announced by the governor is the closure of the state’s air, land and see borders to travellers, who will be allowed in only after they have been thoroughly screened by health workers and medical experts.

Additional measures adopted by Ayade included the closure of state government offices against non-essential service providers, closure of all schools, restriction of the number of persons that can be found in any gathering in public spaces, including religious organisations.

Ayade also directed that the local government elections in the state billed for March 28, this year, be put on hold indefinitely.

The governor’s directives were announced through a press release issued late Monday night by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita.

The release read as follows: “In view of the reality of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the state governor, His Excellency, Sir Ben Ayade, has issued the following directives:
All the entry points into Cross River State (land, air and water) are hereby locked down. Access will be based on passing a thorough screening regime.

“The local government council elections scheduled to hold on Saturday, March 28, 2020, is suspended indefinitely.

“All educational institutions in the state, both public and private must shut down by tomorrow, Tuesday , March 24, 2020 until further notice.

“Civil servants, except those on essential services (medical personnel and revenue officers) should with immediate effect, stay away from work for an initial period of 2 weeks.

“All social,cultural and religious activities are hereby suspended and essential activities must not have a crowd beyond 5 persons.

“Every tricycle (keke) and taxi can carry only one passenger at a time and must have hand sanitizers for use by their passengers.

“Buses are henceforth permitted to have only two passengers on a seat with the drivers mandated to sanitize their vehicles after every trip.

“All public areas, pubs, bars and restaurants are limited to five customers at a time.

“All transport companies must keep a travel manifest for inbound and outbound passengers. They must also provide hand wash stands and hand sanitizers in their buses. Passengers are consequently encouraged to wash their hands with soap and water and sanitize them before boarding.

“All corporate and business organizations in the state must keep visitors’ registers as well as take the temperature checks of guests and visitors using a non-contact infra-red thermometer. Any guest with high temperature above 38 degrees Celsius must be reported immediately to the COVID-19 emergency centre.

“The Commissioner for Health should immediately set up COVID-19 ad hoc monitoring unit to enforce compliance to all preventive measures as highlighted.

“The governor urges absolute compliance from our people with the above guidelines for our common safety, even as government ramps up efforts to ensure the state remains safe and COVID-19 free.

“Let’s stay safe.”