Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Residents of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, and other parts of the state on Tuesday complied with the total lockdown directive by Governor Douye Diri.
Diri had declared a one week stay at home order in the state following the confirmation of the index case of the lethal COVID-19 in the state.
Residents that had openly flouted several preventive measures adopted by the state government without serious reprimand from the state task force however had no difficulty in staying indoors.
Investigations around Yenagoa indicated that very few businesses that are on the essential list opened for business while many businesses that are into telecoms, banking , oil gas were under lock and key because of the directive.
The Bayelsa State government in order to ensure essential business opened has given clarification about those exempted from the stay-at-home directive of the governor.
The governor’s acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a statement explained that banks, foodstuff sellers in markets and vehicles conveying foodstuff, supermarkets as well as petrol and gas stations were exempted from the stay-at-home directive.
Others are pharmaceuticals outlets, telecoms services operators, oil and gas services firms, medical and health personnel, civil servants on grade level 13 and above, and, of course, the military and other law enforcement personnel. The list also includes journalists, newspaper distributors and vendors. The governor’s aide stated that the clarification became necessary to reduce panic buying and to douse tension among residents.
Meanwhile former governor Henry Seriake Dickson has donated N10 million to the Bayelsa State Government as part to efforts to stop the outbreak of the pandemic in the state.
Dickson in statement regretted that in spite of efforts and measures put up Governor Diri, Baylesa still recorded an index case.
According to him now that the state has been confirmed to have a case it is time for all the leaders and the people to give concerted support to the Governor and state officials in the coordinated action against this deadly virus.
“If we restrict movement and respect the protocol, it would be easy for the state Government to work for our lives to come back to normal again. We should note that if more cases are discovered, the lock down will be in place for a longer period.
In addition to the several support measures I have given to individuals and groups across the state, the Henry Seriake Dickson Foundation is supporting the state COVID 19 Committee with the sum of N10 million.”