• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
businessday logo


Port Harcourt slow to COVID-19 as handshakes still go on


Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State and south-south Nigeria seems slow in responding to the coronavirus panic. Most persons still freely hug and offer handshakes. Anyone who withdraws his hand is taunted as a ‘fear-fear’ man (someone too jittery). There has however been no case reported in the state so far, thus citizens have remained quiet so far.

Church services went on normally in all churches in Port Harcourt but caution seemed to rule the waves. Attendance was reportedly scanty in most big churches.

The Catholic Cathedral in Port Harcourt (Kaduna Street) was scanty. The church authority insisted on only four persons per row instead of seven. Others were made to climb to vacant places up and down at the back, according to parishioners who went to 10am church service today.

The Redeem group run small parishes of between 50 and 100 worshippers at a time and they attended normal church services all around the state capital. Most parish and area pastors shared members into two for next week and onward to attend first and second services.

Some other churches at the Trans-Amadi and Marine Base areas went on with scanty members in attendance. A church that usually had 25 members only witnessed 11 today.

Government order for schools to shut down is with effect from Monday, March 23, 2020, meaning that churches were free to hold this Sunday, March 22. Schools will begin the shutdown on March 23. Most schools tried to conclude their inter-house sports last Saturday to avoid disruption.

The state government continued with their activities in the state. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state congress went ahead last Saturday and elected state officials topped with the emergence of Desmond Akawor as state chairman.

The party officials ensured that medical teams were on ground t implement full protocol, according to government media statement.


Ignatius Chukwu