Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Ogun State governor, Dapo Abiodun, has warned the residents in the state to ensure they wear face masks in public places or risk jail term of up to six months.
Abiodun, who said wearing of face masks in the public has been made compulsory due to the rise in number of COVID-19 cases, declared that he was ready to invoke the powers conferred on him by Regulation 7 of the Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulations No. 2 of 2020 (the Regulations), to enforce compliance by the residents.
The governor stated this on Wednesday, during a press briefing on the update on the efforts of the state government to combat the spread of the pandemic in Ogun.
According to Abiodun, his administration decided to mandate the compulsory wearing of face masks by all persons in public as part of measures to prevent the rapid spread of the Coronavirus pandemic, emphasising that “failure to do so is punishable by up to six months’ imprisonment under Regulation 8 of the Regulations and section 68 of the Law”.
He noted that the national figures of COVID-19 cases were frightening and fatalities have continued to be on the rise, pointing out that his administration would continue to put measures in place to flatten the curve of the pandemic.
He disclosed that over 10,000 persons had so far been screened, while 5,611 people had been tested with 1,318 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
The governor added that 1, 054 patients have been successfully treated, while the state recorded 23 fatalities, noting that 224 were receiving medical attention.
While assuring that the state government will continue to intensify efforts and enlarge its screening capacity in order to identify infected people for prompt treatment, Abiodun said available statistics has shown that community transmission of the pandemic is increasing on daily basis.
On the reopening of religious centres and schools in the state, the governor announced that churches and mosques will be tentatively reopened on August 14, while Senior Secondary School students preparing for the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in both public and private schools will resume classes on August 4, in line with the Federal Government resolutions.
He, however, disclosed that the state government has made available to all public and private schools a Risk Assessment Form on www.ogmoest.org to assess their readiness and close identified gaps before resumption of academic activities.
Abiodun also said that religious centres must adhere strictly to the guidelines for the reopening of worship centres, jointly developed and agreed with religious leaders in the state, warning he would not hesitate to mete out severe sanctions against any religious centre that fails to comply with the laid down preventive measures in the guidelines.