By Abasifreke Effiong

An offshore worker at an oilfield facility in Akwa Ibom who was flown into Port Harcourt on Wednesday, 29th April, has tested positive with Coronavirus.

Rivers state governor, Mr Nyesom Wike said on Monday in a broadcast to the people of Rivers that the 14th case of Coronavirus in the state was an offshore worker who was flown into Port Harcourt from Akwa Ibom state.

Akwa Ibom state has recorded 16 cases of Coronavirus.

Wike said in the the past few days, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control has diagnosed several positive cases of COVID-19 infections in Rivers state, some of whom were persons flown into the State by Oil and Gas Companies for their operations.

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He said the offshore worker who tested positive with Coronavirus was flown into Port Harcourt by Bristow helicopter.

“The latest of these positive cases was the 14th case who was flown in to Port Harcourt as recent as Wednesday the 29th of April 2020 by Bristow Helicopters from an offshore oilfield facility in Akwa Ibom State.”

Meanwhile, River state government has reviewed entry permit and waivers earlier granted to oil and gas companies and helicopter conveying crew change for oil coys.

Wike says case histories have shown that un – vetted entry of oil and gas workers from Lagos, Abuja and other places was a potential source for the importation and spread of COVID-19 in the state.

“From now, requests for waivers and entry permits from oil and gas companies will be considered on a case by case basis.”

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“All inward-bound vehicles and flights into Rivers State from oil and gas companies with workers for crew change or other essential operations must first submit details of their manifests to the State‚Äôs taskforce on COVID-19 for proper vetting of their virus status before they can be allowed to enter the State.”

“All operators of chartered flights into Rivers State for oil and gas operations, especially Bristow and Caverton Helicopters, should please comply with this directive and refrain from jeopardizing the lives of our people for the sake of making profits”, the Governor said.