Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has assumed chairmanship of a special task force on COVID-19 to directly oversee its activities in the state.
He has also mandated all local government chairmen to do the same in their respective councils.
Diri equally announced the closure of all public and private schools with effect from Thursday, March 26 as part of measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor, who stated this in a state-wide broadcast on Saturday, said all public gatherings above 50 persons will be prohibited in the state from Monday, March 23.
These gatherings include religious worship centres and night clubs.
Diri who said the government had set up a multi-sectoral task force charged with the responsibility of coordinating and implementing the state’s response to the pandemic, added that the state government had strengthened its level of preparedness through enlightenments, community engagements and training of frontline health workers.
The governor announced that there is no case of coronavirus in the state but cautioned people to adopt protective measures, including frequent washing of hands under running water.
He also disclosed that the state-owned Niger Delta University (NDU) in Amassoma now produces hand sanitizers.
He said that the government had scaled up surveillance efforts and improved isolation facilities at the NDU teaching hospital, at Okolobiri.
Diri, who advised members of the public to eschew rumour and panic, urged them to make inquiries about the Covid-19 in the state by using the designated call centres.
The contact phone lines are 08039216821, 07019304970 and 08151693570.