Coronavirus: Bayelsa Govt To Enforce Compulsory Use Of Face Masks In Public

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The Bayelsa government says it will enforce the compulsory use of face masks in public places as spelt out in the Executive Order signed by Gov Douye Diri.

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Mr Freston Akpor, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday that the state has given a five day ultimatum for the compulsory use of face masks by residents in the state, particularly in the state capital.

Akpor, who is alo a member of COVID-19 Task Force in Bayelsa, said the enforcement by the security sub committee of the taskforce on COVID-19 will begin from July 13.

“This was part of the decisions reached at a meeting presided over by the Deputy Governor, Sen. Lawrence Ehwrudjakpo and attended by heads of banks, supermarket operators and leaders of market associations.

“Ehwrudjakpo said henceforth non use of face mask in public places such as banks, supermarkets, all markets, government offices and private business places as well as Keke riders and their passengers and motor parks will be criminalised in line with the Executive Order signed into law by the Governor.

“He emphasised that owners of business premises will be held liable for non compliance.

“The Deputy Governor announced that government is providing more face masks for free distribution to market people to encourage usage without being compelled.

“Ehwrudjakpo said a similar meeting will be held with Keke operators as part of measures to contain the pandemic in the state,” Akpor said.

The Permanent Secretary noted that various speakers in their separate remarks expressed concern about the spike in COVID-19 numbers in the country and promised to work closely with the government to stem the spread.

NAN reports that data from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) puts the confirmed COVID-19 cases in Bayelsa at 269, 116 active cases, 137 recoveries and 16 deaths.

The rising cases of the novel coronavirus to 269 with an isolation capacity of less than 200 would be a challenge.

Gov Diri urged the health workers to work harder to reduce the fatality rate in Bayelsa.

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