A cross-section of Port Harcourt residents in Rivers State has on Monday appealed to the Governor, Nyesom Wike, not to lock down the state but to ban the influx of foreigners in order to curb the second wave of COVID-19 in the state.

The appeal of the residents followed the state governor’s promise to impose a fresh lockdown in the state from January 2021, due to the rising COVID-19 infections.

Wike gave the hint on Sunday during the thanksgiving church service to mark the 90th birthday of Mrs. Priscilla Nwanediye Mark at St. Martin’s Anglican Church, Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area of of the state.

A resident in Port Harcourt who only identified herself as Ibisaki told one of our correspondents that restricting travellers into the state would effectively curb the rise of infections than grounding residents’ movement as well as economic activities in the state.

She said, “Since the COVID-19 usually comes from overseas, the governor should block foreigners from coming into the state because if the foreigners are locked out, the infections would not come into the state.

“Even those that are coming in from Lagos and other states should be blocked from coming into the state rather than locking down the state, we are ready to wash our hands regularly, wear facemasks and observe physical distancing.”

Another resident urged Wike to prevail on the Federal Government to restrict international flights into the country, adding that the measure would curb the rise of the virus in the state.

“Governor Wike should tell the Federal Government to ban international flights. Nigerians who travel abroad go out there and bring in the virus, that is how it comes in. Locking residents inside will only increase the suffering in the state.

“If international flights are grounded in the country, this new strain of COVID-19 will not come here, that is what Rivers State government should do and not consider a lockdown of the state.”