RIVERS State residents are bracing themselves for another possible coronavirus lockdown following recent threats by Governor Nyesom Wike to re-impose a shutdown in response to the disregard members of the public are showing towards observing social distancing.
Last month, Governor Wike imposed a lockdown on the state and while lifting it, urged members of the public to take precautions, including observing social distancing, wearing facemasks, using hand sanitizers and the frequent washing of hands with soap. However, members of the public have shunned these guidelines and going about their business as if there is no pandemic.
With the numbers of affected persons rising in the state, there are now fears that the lockdown may be re-imposed. Governor Wike recently flayed the unserious attitude of local residents towards the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, decrying their refusal to adhere to preventive measures.
However, local residents, especially persons living in the capital city, comprising Port Harcourt, and Obio-Akpor local government areas, said they could not afford another curfew. They urged the government to jettison the idea.
One local resident called Ijeoma, said: “Returning to another lockdown is a suicide mission. We haven’t survived the series of partial and complete lockdowns earlier imposed by the government. Open markets are still shut and survival has been difficult.”
Another resident, who identified himself as Edward, said: “We can see that despite the previous lockdowns, cases of the pandemic continued to rise in the state. The lockdown strategy has only succeeded in destroying the economy of the state. It has not prevented the spread of the disease, so the government should, therefore, explore other strategies.”
Yesterday, the statistics of the National Council for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that Rivers State recorded 204 cases and 13 deaths. There have been several high profile deaths including a top official in the treasury and the chairman of Asari Toru Local Government Area, Odiari Princewill.