Akwa Ibom State Governor, Deacon Udom Emmanuel has finally ordered that all borders and roads leading into the State be closed as part of measures to curb spread of the killer Coronavirus.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem also ordered that Ibom Air should suspend all flights.
Emmanuel took the decision barely 24 hours after health professionals in the state under the aegis of the Nigerian Medical Association(NMA) criticized his administration for not doing enough to prevent Covid-19 from entering the state.
He also directed that government employees should stay away from their offices for a period of one week while government monitors the situation.
To assist workers obey the Stay at home order, the governor directed the payment of March salaries to all civil servants under the state employ.
The statement signed by the SSG reads, “Following a critical analysis of the situation relating to Covid-19 situation, I have been directed by HE the governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to make the following announcements:
“Salaries of state government workers for the month of March will be paid today, Thursday, March 26, 2020.
“Workers are advised to prepare to stop going to work and stay at home for one (1 ) week with effect from Monday 30 March, 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 the transportation of food items.
“Ibom Air will suspend all flight operations from Sunday, 29 March, 2020.
“Markets are to remain open for sale of foodstuff and essential items only.
“All Churches are strongly requested to fast and pray for God’s mercies on Sunday 29 March, 2020.
“Residents and citizens are strongly advised to apply all the preventive measures earlier announced”.
The statement further reads, “Although there is no confirmed COVID-19 case in Akwa Ibom State, we abide by the ancient adage that ” prevention is better than cure”.
“The Governor, also enjoins all residents and citizens; including professional bodies, to desists from creating unnecessary panic within the state by propagating unverified news, whipping up selfish and myopic sentiments and fanning the embers of discord for pecuniary or political gains”.