How air passenger was prevented from importing COVID-19 into Rivers, by Wike

NEMA decries absence of virus test centres in N’Delta

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, yesterday said a woman infected with Coronavirus (COVID-19) had been prevented from boarding a Port Harcourt-bound flight in Abuja. Consequently, he announced that as from 6:00pm today, the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa would not be open to air traffic.

In a broadcast yesterday in Port Harcourt, the governor said the measure was to avert the importation of the disease into the state.He said: “It is with gratitude to God that I announce to you that our state would have been infected with Coronavirus yesterday (Tuesday) 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 (SEC) met yesterday (Tuesday) and reviewed measures already put in place and decided that there was an urgent need to adopt stringent measures to protect those living and doing business in the state from the virus.”

Wike said the council had therefore decided that with effect from 6:00pm today, the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa would not be open to air traffic.

Noting that while the state might not have the right to stop flights from entering Port Harcourt, he added that his administration would not allowed anybody coming from the airport to access the hinterland.

“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 and out of the state have been banned. In essence, no vehicle will leave Rivers for any other state, and no vehicle will be allowed to enter the state,” the governor stated.

He said the new measures would be in place till further notice, reiterating that the situation in the country required drastic steps.

Meanwhile, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deplored the absence of test centres for the virus in the Niger Delta region.Its South-South Zonal Coordinator, Walson Brandon, who made the disclosure in Port Harcourt, stressed the urgency for test kits, ventilators and regulators as well as test centres within the area.He spoke while reeling out the agency’s first quarter achievements and its preparedness for disasters and emergency.

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