Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Determined to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in Ogun, the state government has announced new measures designed to safeguard the residents.
In a statement on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the Ogun State governor, Kunle Somorin, the state government announced the new preventive measures after the daily review of developments at a meeting chaired by Governor Dapo Abiodun.
The government said apart from lowering the threshold of people who may gather in one place at a time from 50 to 20, all heads of state ministries, departments and agencies and local governments have been directed to draw up rosters that would ensure that not more than 20 percent of staff across all cadres work daily, thus ensuring that most staff come to work once a week.
It added that health workers, Fire Service and Ogun State Emergency Management Authority (OGSEMA) are exempted from the shift arrangement, directing all teachers in both public primary and secondary schools to proceed on their vacation immediately.
While noting that all government offices, irrespective of where they are, are to maintain social distancing, provide hand sanitizers and hand washing facilities, among other hygiene measures, at all times, the government also placed embargo on visits to all government offices until further notice, except those that are COVID-19-solution related and emergency situations only.
The statement further reads: “Telecoms service providers, banks and other similar service providers that offer services in hubs and or bays are required to ensure that not more than 20 clients are in their service areas at a time. Social distancing must be maintained between those who will be on the queue or waiting halls by at least five feet between clients. Those outside the halls should maintain similar standards of social distancing.
“This rule applies to all Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Points, where operators must also provide wipes, hand-washing facilities and sanitisers for seamless use by clients.
“The leadership of all gated markets, shops and malls have been engaged and are hereby reminded that entry controls should be maintained to ensure a maximum of 20 people could congregate at each trading point at every point in time within the markets or shops. For open markets, the leadership is also enjoined to work with the State Task Force and their local government counterparts are to ensure that the social distancing of five feet is maintained as well as maximum of 20 persons density in the markets.
“In addition, market leaders are directed to draw up rosters of various market or product groups to open and sell their wares in rotation whilst this order lasts.
“On public transportation, all taxi cabs are directed to carry not more than three passengers at once; with a maximum of two at the back. Tricycles are to carry a maximum of two passengers at the same time, while motorcycles are limited to one passenger and the rider must use nose mask.
“Buses are limited to two persons per row while standing, squatting, lapping or hanging are not allowed at all. All unions at all intra/interstate motor parks in the state are to ensure that temperature of drivers, conductors and passengers is taken and those above the threshold are not allowed to drive or travel.
“Drivers and conductors are to wear hand gloves and nose masks through the duration of trips.
These measures apply to all vehicles, irrespective of the ownership or use (commercial, private or company). Indeed, it is advisable that windows of vehicles are wound down to allow free air circulation, when in use, with minimal use of air-conditioners, unless where it becomes absolutely inevitable”.
Meanwhile, the state government has directed all the local government chairmen to identify suitable facilities such as event/social centres, school halls, community halls, in their respective areas that could be easily prepared and deployed as COVID-19 treatment facilities in the unlikely event of a surge in the Corona Virus cases in the State.
The government, however, declared that it would not hesitate to deal decisively with any religious or social group that allows more than 20 persons to congregate, saying the State Task Force has been mandated to ensure full and total compliance.
“COVID-19 is a raging pandemic that is threatening global peace and safety. As a responsible government, we cannot take chances. The government enjoins all to note that the task of combating the pandemic is a joint one and, once again, seeks cooperation of all stakeholders and the citizenry”, the statement submitted.