Ogun to Begin enforcement of compulsory use of face Mask - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Ogun to Begin enforcement of compulsory use of face Mask

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Ogun State Governor,  Prince Dapo Abiodun on Friday said the State will leave no stone unturned to prevent further infection, spread and death from the dreaded coronavirus.

The governor also announced a relaxation window during the 14 days lockdown period scheduled to start on Saturday. 

There have been a widespread rumour that the new fourteen days Lockdown is going to be total.

But the governor while addressing journalists at his Iperu Remo residence said there will be total lockdown of the state for 48hours starting from 11:55pm on Friday, 17th April, 2020 to Sunday, 19th April, 2020.

He said the relaxation window will be observed on Monday, 20th, Wednesday, 22nd and Friday, 24th April, 2020 from 7am to 2pm each days.

While thanking the residents of the State for their support,  Governor Abiodun announced that government will begin enforcement of compulsory use of face masks by residents of the state, as parts of efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

He noted  that “using of face mask has the benefits of preventing an afflicted person from infecting others and vice versa.”

The governor said to make the law effective, the state government had engaged the services of fashion designers to mass produce face mask, which will be distributed to market men and women, transporters and other people considered to be necessary.

He updated the residents on the journey so far in the fight against the virus saying that presently, "we have only 3 active cases and they are being treated by our doctors and other healthcare workers in one of our Isolation and Treatment Centres. As a Government and people, we are thankful to God and the professionalism of our health workers.

"As part of concerted efforts to curb further transmission of the virus, we also strengthened our tracing process. So far, we have identified 210 persons who had contacts with the positive cases, out of which 110 underwent the required 14 days quarantine period. Only 2 of this number tested positive, the remaining 108 tested negatives on completion of the quarantine period. 100 others are however still observing the quarantine period and are being observed and monitored by our specialist doctors and other healthcare workers. 

"We thank God, Ogun State has been able to manage the pandemic effectively so far and surpassed the global average for tested cases and transmission. The global average is 1 positive case to 3 new infections. In our case, it is 1 positive case to 1 new infection. But, even with the relatively lower number of positive and active cases, we will leave no stone unturned to prevent further infection, spread and death from the dreaded virus. By the grace of God, we will record a zero number of cases soonest. 

"On our part, we will continue to ensure the welfare and wellbeing of all the people of Ogun State and those who have made our dear State their home. This period of COVID-19 will not be an exemption. We are spending judiciously to ensure that coronavirus does not spread into the communities. To this effect, we have just installed the first State fully-funded Molecular Lab in the country. This laboratory at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, is awaiting the accreditation of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) for it to commence full operation. A second Molecular laboratory, donated to the state, will arrive next week. 

"In addition to that, our Administration has also finalized arrangements for the deployment of drive-through testing facilities across the State, particularly around the vulnerable areas such as our border communities with other states to stem community transmission into Ogun State. This will significantly boost our efforts to test individuals with suspected symptoms and ensure that we have one-day return of test results for anyone suspected of having COVID-19 symptoms in the State. 

"It is noteworthy that the first phase of the distribution of our relief palliatives benefitted not less than 60,000 households, approximating 300,000 individuals has been successfully completed. We have learnt some lessons from that experience and these will guide the next phase that will benefit additional 80,000 households of about 400,000 individuals, comprising of the elderly, the poor and vulnerable. This is an on-going process that will ultimately reach 500,000 households or 3 million individuals.

"It is worrisome that at this critical time of a global pandemic, some individuals and groups would still play politics with lives of our people and public safety by concocting, fabricating and circulating misleading and mischievous stories and videos with sinister motive to undermine the efforts to flatten the curve of the coronavirus and the palliatives meant to cushion the effect of the lockdown on our people. This is uncharitable and inhuman, to say the least. Going forward, such misinformation capable of inciting the public and causing breach of peace will be met with the full weight of the law. 

"In the same vein, I have news for those who may want to take advantage of the current situation to perpetrate any form of crime or criminality. Ogun State has zero tolerance for crimes. And if you test our will, the government and the security agencies will be swift in appending you and severe in bringing you to justice. I call on parents and guardians to ensure the conduct and activities of their children and wards are in consonance with law, public morality and order.

"We appreciate the team that put the Digiclass, our online education platform to ensure continuity of teaching and learning, even during this period. The feedback has been encouraging. I have therefore directed that the programme be extended further.

"As your Governor, I owe you the responsibility to provide additional information and clarifications, especially as it concerns the additional 14-day lockdown as announced by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in his nationwide broadcast. This must have been a painful but needful decision from Mr. President. My dear fellow citizens of our Ogun State, we appreciate the serious health need to curb the spread of the virus and prevent those who have not contracted the virus from contracting it. 

"But there is also the important need to strike a delicate balance between public safety and welfare of the citizenry. 

"My dear people of Ogun State, while we are doing all this, we should also continue to take cognizance of the health safety and recommendations we have issued earlier. It is very important that we do not allow any surge in cases and the attendant risk of community transmission. We, therefore, encourage people to continue to adhere to all the measures put in place for flattening the curve in the country and in Ogun State through social distancing; washing of hands with soap; use of alcohol-based sanitizer where there is no water; and, use of a face mask. 

"The Government of Ogun State wishes to reassure the people of our dear State that there is no need for panic. Our medical and other health professionals are already on top of the situation. Ogun State Government will continue to update the people on any development on the issue.