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Cross River records first COVID-19 case

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Gather over 50 wedding guests, pay N10m fine, Wike warns couples

Cross River State has recorded its first coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case.

This report neither came from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) nor the Commissioner for Health/Chairman of COVID-19 Task Force, Dr. Betta Edu. It came from the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), Prof. Ikpeme Ikpeme.

In a circular yesterday, the don said a patient’s COVID-19 test result came back to Calabar positive.

However, the patient has recovered and was discharged last week.

MEANWHILE, couples whose wedding guests exceed 50, in violation of the Rivers State Government’s guidelines on the COVID-19, will pay a fine of N10 million.

The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Paulinus Nsirim, announced this yesterday after the State Executive Council (SEC) reeled out the approval of guidelines for marriages during the COVID-19 period.

He said prospective couples would be required to apply to the governor through the Commissioner for Social Welfare and Rehabilitation.

Such applications, he added, must be accompanied by information on the venue of the ceremony, names, addresses and phone numbers of attendees to make contact-tracing easy if need be.

The 50 attendees include family members who must wear face masks and adhere strictly to the social distancing of not less than two metres, The Guardian gathered.

According to him, while church weddings must be conducted between 9 am and noon, traditional marriages must hold between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The commissioner said marriage venues should make provision for running water and soap for handwashing at entry points, and the venue fumigated after the event.

After-wedding receptions are prohibited under the guidelines to reduce the risk of community transmission of COVID-19, Nsirim said, warning that violators would be made to also pay a fine of N10 million.

Explaining that henceforth those seeking to bury their loved ones would also be expected to include names, addresses and phone numbers of attendees to the funerals in their applications, he said government would not approve any application without such information.

The SEC has also approved the construction of 505 metres flyover at the GRA junction along the Port Harcourt/Aba road in the state capital.

The Commissioner for Works, Austin Ben-Chioma, said the council also approved the dualisation of Ezimbu Link road connecting Stadium Road from GRA junction and the Tombia road extension linking Ikwerre road.

SEC, he added, considered the Rumuola flyover no longer fitting for the city and approved its expansion to four lanes to ease vehicular movement and boost economic activities.

To ensure that motorists do not suffer untold hardship during the construction, the state government will create alternative routes, he said.


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