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Emmanuel shuts borders, suspends flights, workers asked to stay at home

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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has ordered the closure of all borders and roads leading to the state with immediate effect.

He also directed Ibom Air to suspend all flights operations with effect from March 29.

The Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, disclosed the orders in a statement yesterday in Uyo.

The governor was quoted as directing workers in the state to stop work from March 30 for one week.

The statement read: “Following a critical analysis of the situation relating to COVID-19 situation, I have been directed by Governor Udom Emmanuel to make the following announcements:

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“Salaries of state government workers for the month of March will be paid today (yesterday), March 26, 2020.

“Workers are advised to stay at home for one week with effect from Monday, March 30, 2020. The stay-at-home order will be strongly enforced.

“All borders and roads leading in and out of the state are closed with immediate effect, except for transportation of food items. Ibom Air will suspend all flight operations from Sunday, March 29, 2020.

“Markets are to remain open for sale of foodstuff and essential items only.”

Emmanuel appealed to all churches in the state to fast and pray on March 29 for God’s intervention in the current challenge.

He added that while the one-week stay-at-home order subsists, government would continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on the virus in the state.

The governor advised residents to remain calm, maintain personal and respiratory hygiene, wash their hands with soap and running water regularly as well as maintain social distance.

He implored the citizens, residents and professional bodies to desist from creating unnecessary panic within the state, stressing that only verified information should be sent to the public.

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