DELTA Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday announced the relaxation of lockdown declared on April 1, 2020, as part of measures to check the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
In a broadcast in Asaba, Okowa said the relaxation of the lockdown would become effective on Thursday, and explained that it was to encourage economic activities expected to be carried out from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.
He also announced the continuation of the dusk-to-dawn (7 p.m. to 6 a.m.) curfew imposed on April 15, adding that ban on conferences, sporting activities, gathering of people at event centres and other public engagements remained in force until May 31, 2020.
For burials and weddings, the governor directed that the number of guests must not exceed 50, and that social distancing rule of six feet apart must be observed at such events.
He thanked residents of the state for their understanding in the measures being adopted by the government to stem spread of the virus and hunger while the pandemic was lasting, and observed that the lockdown had to a large extent helped to limit the spread of the virus in the state.
“As we gradually relax the restriction of movement, I must caution that it is not yet uhuru; life as we have known it is still a long way off; we must therefore brace ourselves up to adjust to the new normal in all our personal, official and business dealings going forward.
“Our schools (public and private) remain closed until Sunday, May 31, 2020; entertainment centres, including cinemas, bars and night clubs remain closed until Sunday, May 31, 2020.
“Restaurants, canteens, beer parlours are to operate on take-away basis while hotels will be allowed to open (with in-room dining) but their restaurants, bars and night clubs remain closed till further notice.
“While transport services (keke, taxis, buses) are allowed to operate, number of passengers shall be as follows: two persons at the back for keke; one person at the front seat, and two persons at the back for a taxi; 10 to 12 persons for a 16-seater/18-seater bus.
“Our airports remain closed to passenger traffic till further notice and, I shall be meeting with our religious leaders on Thursday to chart the way forward for our places of worship. However, all crusades/conventions remain banned till further notice,” Okowa said.
“We have every reason to believe that the lockdown helped to limit the spread of the virus in our state, because as at today, six cases of COVID-19 have been incidented.
“Five of the patients are doing well in our case management centres, but, sadly, we lost one of them who presented himself late to the medical authorities; his test report, which turned out to be positive, was received after his unfortunate demise.”