By Ndu Samuel, Asaba
The Delta State government has announced further easing of the lockdown orchestrated by the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
The State commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu dropped the hint in Asaba on Thursday while briefing journalists on steps taken by the state government to ensure that the state does not drip into unrecoverable economic woes while the pandemic last.
Aniagwu stated that the state government is conscious of the impact of the lockdown on the economy of the state and has resolved to open it up for growth while it continues to fight the pandemic.
He said part of the measure to bring the economy back on track is ordering contractors handling various projects in the state back to site to avoid collapsed of the already fragile economy
In his words “We are very much determined to continue to work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and sustain our efforts at curbing the spread of the virus in our state.
“But as a government in Delta, we have examined the need for us to make progress even as we continue to take steps to fight the pandemic.
“As a government we have taken certain decisions with a view to ensuring that our development plans are not jeopardised entirely and to that extent, we have asked that contractors, particularly those involved in road construction should go back for site now that the rains are not disturbing yet.
“The Commissioner for Works is already moving round and has been able to inform us that a number of the contractors are busy at their different sites because we don’t want to suspend development because of COVID-19.”
On the area of inter-state human and vehicular movement the commissioner said “We are still very much interested in enforcing the federal government directive on border crossing and border control and so anybody that doesn’t belong to those that are exempted are not encouraged to come in and make things difficult for us.” he stated.
He also disclosed that the government has removed restrictions on number of persons attending religious gathering, saying that churches and mosques can now freely assemble so long as they observe social distancing and use of face mask.
“From the last time we issued some directives on partial relaxation of the lockdown, we have taken steps to ensure that religious places of worship including Christians and Muslims can worship without having a congregation that can jeopardise the interest of our people.
“We have now removed the ceiling on 100, 50 or 20 worshippers but if they must congregate, they must observe proper social distancing in their places of worship whether it is in the church or in the mosque.
“We do not want where people will gather and cluster and because we needed to have as many people to worship God and also pray, we have allowed the Christians to hold as much as three services in a week in this case we have approved Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
“Muslims were they need to worship will also observe that social distancing but in the case of the upcoming Muslim festival they have on their own elected to worship from home as they cannot guarantee appropriate social distancing during the festival.
“They have asked their members to pray from home for the state and country.”