Bankole Taiwo Abeokuta
The governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Monday, said that he had pleaded with President Muammadu Buhari to allow the total lockdown in the state commence on Friday, April 3rd as against 11pm of Monday, March 30 as earlier directed by the President in his national broadcast to the nation on Sunday.
Prince Dapo Abiodun said that he was moved to make case for the people of the state so that they could have sufficient time to store their barns with food and really get prepared for the lockdown.
The governor said that though, closure of borders with the neighbouring States, that is, ban of interstate movement will come into effect from 11pm of Monday, residents of the state should between now and Friday prepare for the total lockdown that would be strictly enforced.
Prince Abiodun disclosed this on Monday while inaugurating Covid-19 128-bed Isolation Centre at Ikenne Remo in Ikenne local government area of the state. The Isolation Centre is located inside one of the Model Schools built by the immediate past goverment of Sen Ibikunle Amosun.
The governor has equally directed all the civil servants in the state to stay at home except the essential workers such as health workers, fire service among others.
The governor said he had also tested negative to the deadly Coronavirus following his return from the United Kingdom on March 14th saying that he had not only been maintaining social distancing but had also been on self isolation for some time now since he attended the last NEC meeting of the ruling party at Abuja.
He explained that in addition to the Covid-19 Isolation Centre at Ikenne Remo, there is another isolation centre at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) Sagamu while the 3rd centre is at Infectious Disease Centre, General Hospital, Iberekodo, Abeokuta saying that all the Isolation centres so far identified have capacity of taking about 300 patients at a time.
The governor said that as a way of increasing access to Covid-19 test while also ensuring that people get their results on time unlike now that takes about four, five days and going to Abuja or Lagos for the test, the state government latest by Friday would have established a biomedical laboratory to ensure that people who tested for Covid-19 got their results on time.
Abiodun said that during the total lockdown of the state which will begin on Friday, all markets and public places would be disinfected while there would also be provision of relief materials such as food stuffs and cash for the poor and those considered to be the vulnerables
He stated that but for the proactive measures taken by his goverment since the first index case, a 44 Italian worker with a cement factory in the state was spotted, the virus might have been spread very widely and rapidly with other five neighbouring States of SouthWest except Ekiti.
Gov Abiodun said that undoubtedly, Covid-19 pandemic remained the biggest threat to the world since his 60yers on earth, explaining “this disease has defied borders and demystified status. It afflicts the young and the old. It softens the nobility and aristocrats, just as it gives no hoot about the lowly nor peoples places or station in life.
“Contrary to the erroneous belief, this virus is not for the rich or elite alone, everyone is at risk. No country is immune and that is why we are all in it together. Indeed, we are all in a global village. No country is isolated. No North, no South.We are confronted with a deadly enemy and must jointly find an end to this unprecedented pandemic”.
The governor was full of accolades for the state Covid-19 pandemic Response team led by the Commissioner of health, Dr Tomi Coker as well as the collaborative efforts of World Health Organisation (WHO), National Centre for Disease and Control (NCDC) and public spirited Nigerians and corporate organizations who have donated in cash and kind towards containing the spread of the virus in the state and nation at large.
Abiodun appealed to the people to abide by these government orders, and the advisories provided by the ministry of health on hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and social distancing, including
washing hands with soap under running water or use of an alcohol-based sanitizer if water is not available.
The governor also urged people to cover their mouth and nose with bent elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Maintain at least 1 and half metres (5 feet) distance away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.