The Rivers State government has decried the attitude of churches in the state towards the established protocols aimed at flattening the curve of Coronavirus in the state.
Chairman of the state Inter-Ministerial Enlightenment Committee on COVID-19, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed this yesterday while speaking in a live radio programme monitored in Port Harcourt.
Nsirim expressed regrets that since Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike signed an Executive Order making the wearing of facemasks compulsory in the state, only about 30 per cent of the residents comply with the order.
He said: “If you noticed, one thing you will understand about Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is that he is a pragmatic leader. If you go around the state since the Executive Order on facemask was introduced, you will notice that less than 30 per cent of the populace is really obeying that order. What we are seeing in the state is that people are doing chin mask.
“His Excellency had visual meeting with religious leaders and at that meeting, it was agreed that the number of worshippers per service should be increased to 70, while 50 is for marriages and burials.”
“There should be clear social distancing.
“The governor, in that broadcast, also expressed concern that a lot of people in the state are not obeying the protocols of social distancing and wearing of facemasks. He spoke specifically about what is happening in some Churches.”
Nsirim, who is also the state commissioner for Information and Communications, reiterated the governor’s earlier call on official of the Port Harcourt International Airport to ensure that the Coronavirus protocols are obeyed, as there would be influx of people into the state following the resumption of flight activities at the airport.
He said: “You will recall that in the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria, His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has shown leadership. He was the first person to introduce measures that were strategically designed to contain the spread of Coronavirus. These include border closure, lockdown of strategic areas, and issuance of Executive Orders to ensure that Rivers State is safe.