Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has threatened to re-impose a lockdown in the state if residents fail to comply with COVID-19 protocols.
Mr Wike said this in a state-wide broadcast on Monday in Port Harcourt.
He said the data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that both the transmission and death rates in the past two weeks had consistently been on the increase due to non-compliance by the residents.
The governor said it is the desire of the state government to keep the state open and allow citizens to go about their social, religious and economic activities unimpeded, but that the government might be compelled to impose another lockdown “if the transmission of the disease continues to increase beyond tolerable limits”.
Rivers State is at the risk of a serious health disaster, Mr Wike said.
“I wish to remind residents of the subsisting protocols on regular washing of hands and use of alcohol-based sanitiser; maintaining social distancing; wearing of face masks at all public places,” the governor said.
He appealed to residents to go out and receive the vaccination against COVID-19 at designated health centres in the 23 local government areas in the state.
Mr Wike also appealed to religious leaders and churches to encourage their followers to take the vaccine.
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“Those refusing to take the vaccines for no certified medical reasons should know that they are endangering the rest of the citizens,” the governor added.
Rivers is the third most infected state in Nigeria, with 10,809 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of September 6, according to the NCDC.
The state has so far recorded 137 COVID-19 related deaths.
Lagos, the epicentre of the viral infection, has remained the most infected, with 74,044 cases, followed by the FCT, with 20,710.