Governor Nyesom Wike has imposed a total lockdown of Bonny Local Government Area and Onne community in Eleme Local Government Area, as coronavirus cases exploded in the state.
Wike announced the measure in a broadcast on Saturday.
He expressed deep worry that the state could gradually become the next epicentre of the virus.
Rivers has a caseload of 866 , the biggest in the South-South region of the country.
The state has also recorded 30 deaths, including of prominent persons, while 356 persons recovered and were discharged from Treatment Centres.
“Only today the state recorded 127 new cases leaving the Isolation and Treatment Centres overwhelmed.
“As the number of new cases and deaths continue to increase, there is no more denying that coronavirus is both dangerous and deadly.
“We cannot also deny that the transmission of the virus in our state is currently on a steep upward trend.
“This being so, we must all brace up to the reality of having new infections and a couple of deaths in the coming weeks and months,’’
Wike urged residents of the state to prepare for statewide lockdown if infections continue to increase unabated.
“Pursuant to the fundamental objective of stopping the spread of coronavirus, we have reviewed the situation in Bonny Island and Onne Communities and come to the conclusion that a total lockdown is necessary at this time to shut down the continuing spread of the virus in these communities.
“By this measure, all shops, offices and business places must remain closed. All gatherings, including religious, burial and wedding activities are prohibited.
“All entry and exit points into the two communities, except those on essential services and duly permitted, are also banned.
“Security agencies have been directed to enforce the lockdown by arresting and prosecuting anyone who dares to disobey these directives,” Wike said.
Bonny and Onne host vital economic entities in the state. Bonny is the host of the NLNG, while Onne hosts a port.