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Bayelsa extends stay-at-home order by one week

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• Authorises compulsory wearing of facemasks in public
Following the expiration of the earlier directive, Governor Douye Diri yesterday extended the stay-at-home order in Bayelsa State by one week.

He also authorised the mandatory wearing of facemasks in public in deference to the presidential directive, threatening violators with prosecution.

The governor gave the fresh directive during a meeting of the state’s COVID-19 task force and other top government officials at Government House, Yenagoa.

His Acting Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, quoted the Bayelsa chief executive as saying the state had adopted the imposition of the nationwide daily curfew of 8pm to 6am effective yesterday.

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The governor equally directed the state-owned International Institute of Hospitality and Tourism to work out the modalities for large-scale production of facemasks for onward distribution to the public as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus in the state.

His words: “On the compulsory use of facemask directive countrywide, we must all now put on facemask for our own health and safety. We have the option of a cloth facemask or the surgical mask.”

He restated that the inter-state borders and maritime domain of Bayelsa would remain locked down for 24 hours, while intra-city and intra-state movements would still be allowed except that the people must observe all the precautionary measures.

Other orders include the exemption of foodstuff markets, supermarkets, petrol and gas stations, pharmaceuticals as well as vehicles conveying food items and other essential items.

“All social gatherings, including weddings and funerals, however, remained restricted,” he stressed.

On worship centres, the governor directed that churches and mosques with large congregation would be allowed 50 worshippers, while 20 are permitted for smaller ones.

He, nevertheless, admonished religious leaders to comply with extant directives, warning that the full weight of the law would be brought on defaulters to serve as deterrent to others.

Diri also warned that people would not be allowed to sneak into the state anymore in the guise of accompanying vehicles conveying foodstuff and medical

On donations, he advised the presidential task force to relate with the governors and make their financial assistance available only to the states’ COVID-19 teams in line with their peculiar needs.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Inodu Apoku, had told the meeting that the state’s index case and her family members were doing well and would be discharged anytime soon.

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