Asaba Airport Shut as Okowa Announces Virtual Lockdown of Delta

Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa

Omon-Julius Onabu

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has announced further and sterner precautionary measures aimed at strengthening the state machinery towards effective management of the Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, including the indefinite closure of Asaba International Airport beginning from 6.00p.m. (18 hours) yesterday.

The governor announced stricter restrictions on movement, social contacts, public congregation and controlled conduct of businesses in certain essential areas across the state, which will be amid increased security surveillance.

Okowa announced these measures in a radio and television broadcast after a meeting of the Central Committee on Managing/Containing the Coronavirus Pandemic in the state headed by the governor.

It was the governor’s third broadcast to the citizens and residents of Delta State in barely one week, to bring them up to date concerning the COVID-19 pandemic vis-a-vis the proactive efforts being made by his administration to manage the situation.

Text of Governor Okowa’s broadcast read in part: “As promised, we have continued to monitor and review developments concerning this global pandemic on a daily if not hourly basis. Although there has been no confirmed case in Delta, nevertheless, we deem it fit to take further measures to avert any outbreak or contain its spread if it occurs.

“Consequently, after a meeting with the Central Committee on Managing/Containing the Coronavirus Pandemic headed by me, several far-reaching decisions were made, and I hereby order as follows:

“Asaba airport is to close to traffic effective from Friday, March 27, 2020 by 6p.m.

“All land borders into and out of Delta are to be shut effective 6a.m., Sunday, March 29, 2020.

All businesses-malls, supermarkets, markets and shops -are to close from Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

All residents in the State are to stay at home from Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

“Food sellers are to conduct their businesses within the precinct of their homes and are required to strictly adhere to the social distancing rules.

“Deltans are advised that there will be increased security presence on the streets and land borders to ensure strict compliance with these directives.

“These restrictions are for two weeks in the first instance but do not apply to persons providing essential services namely Security, Healthcare (Pharmacies are to remain open) Water, Fire,

Power, Essential Departments of Media Houses, Essential Departments of Telecommunications companies.

“Officials of these agencies/companies must carry valid identification tags to ensure easy identification and smooth passage.

“I urge all Deltans to adjust to the new normal and cooperate with the Government and law enforcement agencies. Drastic as these measures may seem, they are for our collective good. At the same time, we must keep on praying to God to save us from the seismic effects of this global pandemic.”