Burial Without Govt Approval Attracts N10m Fine, Says Wike

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike,

A new Executive Order signed by Rivers State Governor, Mr. Nyesom Wike, to check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has prescribed N10million fine for any burial conducted contrary to the provisions of the order.

The order, RVSG – 122020, which has been gazetted, issued new guidelines for conducting burials during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Section 3 stipulates that any person intending to hold a public burial in the state or take any corpse outside the state for burial must apply to the governor for approval through the state Commissioner for Health.

The order, which took effect from June 5, said an application for such burial of any person that died from February 1, 2020 must be accompanied by a death certificate showing whether or not the death was related to COVID-19.

Section 4 of the order said: “The applicant shall pay a penalty of N10,000,000 to the government of Rivers State for any breach of the conditions, guidelines or protocols specified in the approval and set out herein”.

It said where the person died of coronavirus must hold between 9a.m. to 12noon, not more than three hours with not more than 50 persons, including family members in attendance.

The order further also provided that every person attending the burial must maintain social distancing of not more than two metres adding that all surfaces and enclosures must be decontaminated after the burial.