*Accuses Bristow Helicopters of flying infected oil worker into Rivers State
Port Harcourt — Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, on Monday announced that requests for waivers and entry permits from oil and gas companies operating in the state, will now be considered on a case by case basis, to stem the spread of COVID-19.
In a statewide broadcast, Governor Wike said given the threat posed to the State by oil and gas company workers, it has reviewed all entry waivers and permits earlier granted to Oil and Gas Companies .
The Rivers State Governor pointed out that the latest of the positive cases was the 14th case that was flown in to Port Harcourt by Bristow Helicopters from an offshore oilfield facility in Akwa Ibom State on the 29th of April 2020.
Wike said these positive cases have shown and confirmed his fears that unvetted entry of oil and gas workers from Lagos, Abuja and elsewhere remains a potential source for the importation and spread of COVID-19 in the State.
The Rivers State Government declared; “From now on, requests for waivers and entry permits from oil and gas companies will be considered on a case by case basis.
“All inward-bound vehicles and flights into Rivers State from oil and gas companies with workers for crew change or other essential operations must first submit details of their manifests to the State’s taskforce on COVID-19 for proper vetting of their virus status before they can be allowed to enter the State.
“All operators of chartered flights into Rivers State for oil and gas operations, especially Bristow and Caverton Helicopters, should please comply with this directive and refrain from jeopardizing the lives of our people for the sake of making profits.”
Governor Wike also declared a 24-hour total lockdown and a dusk-dawn curfew on Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas as part of the State Government’s measures to check the spread of coronavirus.
“On the whole, we can all see that COVID-19 cases confirmed across the country are growing in numbers, meaning that the situation in our State, although still relatively low, can change for the worse, if we relax our measures or become complacent.
“In view of the foregoing, Government has resolved to impose additional measures by the Executive Order, I have just signed, which are targeted at reinforcing our efforts toward stopping the spread of the virus in the State, as follows:
“All residents must wear face masks before stepping out of their homes to the public space. The operations of all private motor parks, taxi ranks and loading bays throughout the State is hereby prohibited;
“No commercial taxi driver should carry more than three passengers in his vehicles per trip. No commercial bus driver should carry more than 40 per cent of full capacity of his vehicle.
“All tricycles (Keke NAPEP) must limit their passengers to two persons only. No private vehicle should carry more than three persons in the car;
“All drivers, persons or passengers in commercial and private vehicles, including tricycles, must wear face masks and observe the use of sanitizers. All hotels, guest houses and beer parlours must remain closed.”