Bankole Taiwo Abeokuta
As part of measures to further deal decisively with the spread of Coronavirus pandemic in Ogun state, Gov Dapo Abiodun has said that effective from May 1st 2019, wearing of facemasks become compulsory in the state.
Gov Abiodun disclosed that any resident of the state caught not wearing facemask would be arrested, sent to the Isolation Centres for two weeks during which period it would be determined whether such person is Coronavirus positive or negative while also observing community service.
The governor disclosed this on Friday at a press briefing on Covid-19 updates in the state held at his Iperu Remo residence.
Abiodun stated that the government was already producing at least a million facemasks for distribution to residents of the state that could not afford it saying that this should be done between now and May 1st when non wearing of facemasks in the state would become punishable offence.
While saying that his goverment remained committed to fighting Covid-19 to stand still, the governor stated that in the last one week, the number of confirmed cases in the State has risen from nine to 29 confirmed cases with 22 active cases, six discharged and one reported death.
While urging people not to panic unnecessarily due to this development, Abiodun said “the fact that we get more number of confirmed cases shows we are doing right what we are to do. The increase in numbers of cases is because of our increase pace of testing. The advantage of this is that it is better for us to detect and treat people who are already infected rather than leaving them undetected which will be more detrimental because it will increase community transmission”.
The governor stated that majority of these new cases are detected on immigrants coming into the country through land borders saying that the lesson thereof is that the peculiarity of Ogun State as the next-door neighbour to Lagos State which is the epicentre of the fight against Covid-19; and as a gateway to the other parts of the country, especially as a window to the West African sub-region puts the state at a vulnerable position.
Abiodun said aside building world class isolation and treatment centres for Covid-19 patients, his goverment had also built molecular laboratory at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) Sagamu to increase people’s access to Covid-19 testing while installation of testing booths was already being done across some densely populated areas in the state such as Ifo, Ado-Odo/Ota and Mowe, Ibafo in Obafemi Owode local government.
He disclosed further that while the second week of 14 days extension lockdown begin in the state, residents of the state would still be allowed to observe window of relaxation on Monday 27th of April from 7am to 2pm as well as on Wednesday and Friday April 29 and May 1st respectively.
The governor noted that to stem the continued surge in Covid-19 cases and the attendance risk of continued community transmission in the state “We will once again encourage our people to adhere to all health safety measures put in place to flatten the curve in the country, in general, and in Ogun State in particular through social distancing; washing of hands with soaps and use of alcohol base sanitizer where there is no water.
“We have always encouraged the use of face mask but let me add that with the reality facing us, the use of face mask in public by all individuals in Ogun State is now compulsory as from Friday, 1st May, 2020. We will also begin to distribute face masks to those who cannot afford to buy, in addition to other materials to our vulnerable groups across”.
Abiodun thanked the people of the state for their cooperation as well as the health workers for their sacrifices promising that his goverment would always ensure that the people’s welfare was not allowed to suffer with readiness to distribute second phase of the state Covid-19 palliatives targeting at least 400,000 individuals.