Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure, From Clement Adeyi, Osogbo, Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti and Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has ordered the immediate closure of all markets, malls and shops across the 18 local government areas of the state.
Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, said the governor took the decision to prevent the spread of coronavirus ravaging the world.
Although the state has not recorded any case of the disease, Ojogo said the precautionary measures taken by the state government will go a long way at ensuring safety of lives of the citizens.
He said the state executive council had approved the decision of the governor before he made it public.
Under this fresh directive which is for a period of seven days in the first instance, Ojogo said only the sale of life-saving and sustaining items like food, water and medicines shall be allowed.
Similarly, Governor Akeredolu has reiterated that the suspension of political gatherings and meetings in any part of the state is still in force.
The commissioner said any form of campaign for the forthcoming local government election in the state should be discontinued for the meantime.
Also, he disclosed that Governor Akeredolu has directed the immediate cancellation of all official engagements.
He said the directive includes courtesy calls and other engagements already approved and scheduled prior to this time; and shall suffice for a period of 14 days in the first instance.
The governor also sought the co-operation and understanding of residents on the efforts of the state government to keep the state safe from COVID-19.
In the same vein, Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, has directed all markets that do not sell essential commodities, including foodstuff, medicine, medical equipment and water, be closed down effective, 5.00pm today.
According to the governor, the order is for residents to observe social distancing, as part of measures to curb spread of COVID-19 in the state,
The directive was contained in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Yinka Oyebode, in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday.
The statement directs all medicine stores that are open to the public to make sure they do not sell or display any other items whatsoever, while those selling foodstuff should not display or sell anything outside foodstuff.
Similarly, the governor appealed to commercial drivers and the leadership of National Union of Road Transport Workers and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria in the state to reduce the outrageous fares being charged commuters, mainly students who have been returning home in their numbers following the closure of schools.
Pharmacy stores are also urged not to hike the prices of essential drugs.
Meanwhile, the public are reminded of the ban on gatherings above 20 persons either for social, communal or religious purposes as monitoring and enforcement task force have been dispatched across the state.
The governor urged all citizens to join hands with the government and its agencies in the collective war against the coronavirus.
20 judges on
self-isolation in Osun
In the wake of the deadly coronavirus bedevilling the world, about 20 judges are currently in self-isolation in Osun State.
Commissioner for Health, Rafiu Isamotu, who disclosed this, yesterday confirmed that they had travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirate and went into isolation immediately they arrived the state to ascertain their medical status.
Isamotu disclosed this in Osogbo, the state capital, on the sideline of a press briefing addressed by Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, to intimate newsmen about the first case recorded by the state, yesterday.
“They are currently in self-isolation, but I cannot disclose any hospital. It is not necessary that they go to the hospital before being isolated.
“There are many people who have tested positive of the virus, but stay in their homes to isolate themselves without going to the hospital. The judges are in self-isolation and we are monitoring them,” he said.
Daily Sun gathered that the judges had attended an international conference in the Middle East country between March 9 and March 20, before they returned to the state at the weekend.
Oyo to shut
borders, suspends operations of
Oyo State Government has revealed it may likely impose travel restrictions at the state’s entry points, as part of measures to containi the spread of coronavirus.
Executive Chairman, Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA), Akin Fagbemi, said this yesterday, during an interview at COVID-19 situation room on a popular radio station in Ibadan.
He said the government would only allow essential travels into the state, which would be subjected to thorough health checks.
“All entry points into Oyo State (land and airways) may soon be closed. Entry and transit by any vehicle would be subjected to robust health check of all passengers,” he said.
Fagbemi said OYRTMA has prepared for the challenging times and has put efforts in place to closely monitor the state’s borders.
Noting that the transportation sector could be a major carrier of COVID-19, if not properly managed, Fagbemi called on transport companies, unions and terminal operators to keep a travel manifest for inbound and outbound passengers, especially verified phone numbers.
Urging them to provide hand-wash stands and sanitizers in their garages, he called on passengers to cooperate with them by washing their hands with soap and water and sanitize them before boarding, adding that recalcitrant passengers should be denied boarding if they fail to comply with the hygiene procedures.
“Relevant enforcement officials would be authorized to enforce compliance, while defaulters will be arrested,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fagbemi said operations of commercial motorcycle operators would be suspended, noting that this will not only discourage people from coming to the public space indiscriminately, but also ensure compliance with the social distancing procedures.
The OYRTMA boss also said his agency would collaborate with other security agencies to enforce compliance to preventive measures put in place by the state government, using various task-forces.
While he solicited everyone’s prayers from the safety of their homes, he advised residents to comply with the state government’s orders on social distancing, by suspending all social, cultural and religious activities.
Fagbemi equally commended media houses in the state on their awareness and sensitisation efforts, but called for intensified jingles aimed at sensitising residents on the scourge of the virus and how to curb its spread.
UK visit: Submit to test, students
appeal to Ogun lawmakers
National Association of Ogun State Students (NAOSS) has called on members of Ogun Assembly, who recently returned from foreign trips, to subject themselves to COVID-19 test to determine their health status.
National President, Gbemileke Ogunrombi, in a statement in Abeokuta, yesterday, said it was important for the lawmakers to submit themselves to test since they had just returned from a trip to the United Kingdom, one of the nations hit by the pandemic.
“The Assembly members must lead by example and yield to the call to undergo the COVID-19 test, and also subject themselves to isolation until their health status is determined.
“To stop the spread of COVID-19, it is imperative for the lawmakers to go for test and not further increase the tension in the state.
“We want to commend Governor Dapo Abiodun’s proactive measures toward curtailing and containing the spread of the coronavirus in Ogun.
“The lawmakers should not do anything to jeopardise the efforts of the state government in fighting the deadly virus,” the students’ union said
Ogunrombi further pleaded with the lawmakers to do the needful, saying the state should not be thrown into panic.
It was gathered that the lawmakers had, on March 13, returned from a trip to the UK.
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Monday threatened to publish the names of top government officials that had refused to self-isolate, even after returning from countries ravaged by the pandemic.
Makinde shut civil service for 2 weeks in Oyo
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has shut down the civil service for two weeks, beginning from Friday, March 27, 2020, to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
He made this known on his twitter handle yesterday, which followed his directives that earlier banned religious services, weddings, burial ceremonies and other forms of social gatherings in the state, as well as closure of all schools till after Easter break in April.
Makinde, who did not order closure of markets, however, said workers rendering essential services would be required to report for duty, adding that the number of confirmed case of COVID-19 in the state has not gone beyond one and that the index case has been receiving treatment at an isolation centre – Agbami Chest Centre, Jericho, Ibadan, the state capital.
The governor, who is heading the Oyo State COVID-19 task force, said in the tweet: “The Oyo State civil service will be shut down for two weeks from, Friday, March 27, 2020. Only workers rendering essential services will be required to report for duty.
“We still have one confirmed case of coronavirus in Oyo State, the Bodija case, who is receiving treatment at the isolation centre – Agbami Chest Centre, Jericho, Ibadan. Additional numbers have been added to the Emergency Operations Centre’s Helplines. Call these numbers for any issue related to coronavirus; 08095394000/ 08095963000/08078288999/08078288800