Governor Nyeson Wike has become the first governor to ban anyone even within Nigeria from entering his state to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The Rivers Government on Wednesday announced the closure of all air, sea and land routes into the state in a move to check the spread of coronavirus to the State.
A statement on Wednesday by Mr Simeon Nwakaudu, the Special Assistant (Electronic Media) to Wike, stated that “the measure became necessary in view of recent developments.
According to the statement the measure will take effect “ from 6am on Thursday March 26, 2020.
He also stated that the governor announced the measures in a statewide broadcast on Wednesday
He said: “It is with gratitude to God that I announce to you that our State would have been infected with coronavirus yesterday, but for the vigilance of security agents who, acting on a tip-off prevented an infected person from boarding a flight from Abuja to Port Harcourt.
“The infected person beat all security measures that were put in place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and was to sneak into Port Harcourt before security agents stopped her.
“Based on this alarming Information, the State Security Council met yesterday and reviewed measures already put in place and decided that there was urgent need to adopt stringent measures to protect those living and doing business in the state from the virus.
“The council has therefore taken the following painful decisions. With effect from 6pm on Thursday, March 26, 2020 , the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa will not be open to air traffic.
“While we may not have the right to stop flights from entering Port Harcourt, we cannot allow anybody coming from the airport to enter our State.
“We are confident that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other federal agencies will cooperate with us.
“All Land and Sea Borders will be closed. Vehicular movements in an out of the state have been banned.
“In essence no vehicle will leave Rivers State for any other State and no vehicle will be allowed to enter the state.’’
Wike said that the new measures will be in place until further notice.