Delta State, South-south Nigeria, has announced the closure of its borders with other states from Sunday, March 29, as a preventive measure against the novel coronavirus.
There is no suspected or confirmed case of the virus in the state.
The state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, made the announcement in a statewide broadcast on Thursday.
Mr Okowa said residents in Delta are to stay indoors from April 1 and also all the markets, shops, supermarkets, and businesses are to remain close from the date.
Mr Okowa said the Asaba airport would be closed from Friday, March 27.
The restriction would last for two weeks in the first instance, the governor said.
People working in security, healthcare (pharmacies are to remain open), water, fire, power, and essential departments of media houses, and telecommunications companies are exempted from the restriction, he said.
The officials of the agencies or companies that are exempted from the restriction are required to carry valid identification tags to ensure their smooth movement.
“Food sellers are to conduct their businesses within the precinct of their homes and are required to strictly adhere to the social distancing rules.
“Deltans are advised that there will be increased security presence on the streets and land borders to ensure strict compliance with these directives,” Mr Okowa said.
“I urge all Deltans to adjust to the new normal and cooperate with the Government and law enforcement agencies. Drastic as these measures may seem, they are for our collective good. At the same time, we must keep on praying to God to save us from the seismic effects of this global pandemic,” he added.
So far, Nigeria has a total of 51 confirmed cases and one death. Eight have recovered in the country from the ailment which has killed over 20000.
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Lagos State has the highest number of confirmed cases in the country with 32 cases, followed by Abuja with 10 cases, Ogun State three, and Ekiti, Oyo Edo, Bauchi Osun and Rivers have one case each.
Most of the cases reported are travellers who have just returned to the country. Other cases are people who have come in contact with infected people.
Some senior government officials like Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari have tested positive while others have self-isolated.
Meanwhile, most state governments have directed that some workers stay at home and not report to work.