Wike’s executive order on public burials, violators to pay N10million

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Governor Nyesom Wike
Governor Nyesom Wike

From June 5, 2020, through the period of the ravaging coronavirus, any violator of new Rivers State Executive Order regulating conduct of public burials in the state would be liable to a fine of N10million.

The penalty contained in the Executive Order Prescribing Guidelines for Conduct on Public Burials in Rivers State by Governor Nyesom Wike, released, yesterday, and published in a June 5, Rivers State Official Gazette affects persons who died from February 1, 2020.

The order, part of Rivers State government containment measures against Covid-19 also prescribe that public burial or movement of a corpse out of the state would now require approval from the state governor throughout the period of Coronavirus.

The guidelines also specified that the governor’s approval which must be sought in application through the Commissioner for Health must be accompanied by, “a death certificate showing cause of death, in particular whether or not it was related to Covid-19.”

Other requirements include confirmation that an applicant must have read and comprehended requirement contained in the “Order and Quarantine (Covid-19) and Other Infectious Diseases Regulation (No 3) of 2020 prescribing penalty, breach of conditions, guidelines or protocols specified in the approval” before engaging in the burial and movement of corpse.

The governor may according to the Order grant approval for relatives to conduct public burials for their loved one if cause of death is not Covid-19 related provided there shall be not more than 50 participants and the event not lasting beyond 9a.m., to noon with conscious adherence to all Covid-19 containment protocols in presence of state observers.

In the event that the diseased died of Covid-19, the ” Commissioner for Health shall direct the applicant to hold the burial immediately under strict supervision of officials of the state Ministry of Health.”

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