Rivers records 27 new cases of coronavirus, total now 116

Rivers govt alleges plan to instigate crisis leading to state of emergency

COVID-19 infection has continued to be on the increase in Rivers State, South-South Nigeria.

Rivers State recorded 27 new infections on Sunday, one of the highest so far in the oil-rich state. The state recorded 52 cases between May 13 and 20.

The number of confirmed cases in the state now stands at 116 as of May 24, according to the data released by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

Thirty COVID-19 patients have been treated and discharged, while there are 78 active cases in Rivers. Eight persons have so far died of COVID-19 in the state.

The state’s governor, Nyesom Wike, has deployed measures, some of them hard and controversial, to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Mr Wike early this month ordered the demolition of two hotels in Rivers for allegedly flouting COVID-19 order in the state. The state government has also arrested oil workers, including pilots accused of entering the state “illegally” during the lockdown.

Mr Wike has been captured in video clips published on social media walking on the roads, angrily interrogating motorists who may have violated the lockdown order in the state.

In one of the videos, he was seen threatening to shut down a bank branch for not getting their customers to observe social distancing in their premises.

The state even has a taskforce on ‘border closure’ to prevent people and vehicles from entering the state during the lockdown.

The governor, who said COVID-19 is “worse than a conventional war”, has accused the federal government of being biased against Rivers regarding its support for the COVID-19 fight in the different states. He has also accused the federal government of “sabotaging” the state.

READ ALSO: Manager of demolished hotel among 27 new COVID-19 cases in Rivers – Commissioner

“We are being sabotaged at sea, land and at the Domestic Wing of the airport. Sometimes, they secretly receive flights and before we know the people sneak into the town,” Mr Wike said.

Lagos State, South-West Nigeria, with 3,505 cases, is the epicentre of coronavirus in the country.

The number of confirmed cases in Nigeria is 7,839.