By Okafor Ofiebor
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has signed an Executive Order titled: ‘Bayelsa Infectious Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020’ as part of strategies to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus into the state.
Diri said the executive order was in the exercise of the powers conferred on him pursuant to the provisions of Section 8 of the Quarantine Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and further pursuant to all other enabling laws and powers.
Signing the order on Thursday in Government House, Yenagoa, the governor ordered a partial closure of markets in the state with effect from April 3.
A press release by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as having ordered the temporary closure of all markets in the state, particularly Swali market, which is the biggest in the state capital.
He explained that the order exempts food, water, pharmaceutical stores and others rendering essential services.
Other public places affected include event centres, bars, places of worship, public and private educational institutions and other public gatherings except a written approval is obtained from the governor for such gathering.
He also directed the ministries of trade, health, environment and the Environmental Sanitation Authority to supervise the restrictions.
The governor directed all supermarkets in the state to adopt rules of social distancing and ensure that customers are sanitised towards promoting public health.
Diri said hoarding of food, drugs and other essential goods and services as well as artificially inflating prices of same shall be deemed as an offence.