Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There is apprehension that the COVID-19 infection could spike in Bayelsa if the state government does not move to enforce all safety rules and precautions put in place to ease the lockdown.
The state, which had discharged the index case and four others from its isolation centre at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital (NDUTH), Okolobiri with only one active case left as at Saturday, May 16, is still awaiting the status of 20 persons that were contacts of the remaining active case.
Governor Douye Diri had, in announcing the easing of the lockdown in the state, permitted churches to have 50 members of the congregation and small churches 20 members.
The churches were also to ensure water, soap and hand sanitizer are at the entrance and face masks made compulsory.
However, investigations from churches visited, yesterday, indicated that while churches complied with the directive on provision of water, soap and hand sanitizer, wearing of face masks was violated.
Also churches that were not supposed to have more than 20 members had in excess of 50 and those expected to have 50 had in excess.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and the Chairman Implementation Committee of the COVID-19 State Task Force, Inodu Akpoku, in an interview confirmed that the task force has received reports of violation of the safety rules.
Akpoku said before the lockdown was ease, the people were warned that violation would have serious consequences.