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Bayelsa relaxes lockdown for Easter celebration

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Following appeals by various Christian bodies, the Bayelsa State government yesterday relaxed partial lockdown of the state to enable Christian faithful fully participate in the Easter celebrations.

Governor Douye Diri announced the decision during an enlarged meeting with members of the COVID-19 Task Force, security agencies and leadership of the Christian and Muslim communities at Government House, Yenagoa.

A statement issued by Acting Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Daniel Alabrah, quoted Diri as stressing that the relaxed measure was specific to Church services during the Easter celebration.

He said Churches with large congregations would be permitted to have 50 persons during their services, while 20 worshippers would be allowed for smaller Churches and cautioned them to adhere strictly to all the preventive measures, including social distancing and washing of hands with soap and running water.

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Noting that the lockdown would revert to status quo after Easter to ensure public health and prevention of the COVID-19 in the state, he said the stay-at-home order for civil servants and all other measures have been extended for another two weeks, pointing out that they would be reviewed every two weeks until the COVID-19 crisis abated.

Diri also hinted that as part of efforts to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, oil multinational, AGIP in conjunction with its joint venture partners, approved the siting of its health facility for the South-South zone in Bayelsa to combat the virus.

He directed the Ministry of Lands to make land available for the project, adding that some corporate organisations donated cash as relief materials to the state, including United Bank for Africa (N28.5m), Niger Delta Development Commission (N100m), Sterling Bank (N100m) and the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (300 bags of rice).

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Inodu Akpoku and his Ministry of Information counterpart, Chief Freston Akpor, enumerated efforts so far made in the fight to prevent COVID-19.

Also, Technical Adviser to the governor on Security, Boma Spero-Jack, identified refusal of some important personalities to be screened at entry points, as a major challenge to containing spread of the pandemic in the state.

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COVID-19Douye Diri
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