Following the increase in the number of identified cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, Osun State Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, has placed a ban on all gathering of more than 50 people in the state.
Oyetola made the disclosure in a statement made available to newsmen
by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Ismail Omipidan.
The governor noted that the ban will take effect from Friday, March 20, 2020, till further notice and it will affect schools, churches, mosques, night clubs, sports arena, and others.
He advised the residents not to panic because no case has been recorded in the state till date.
Oyetola said the government arrived at the decision after wide consultations with health professionals and stakeholders in the health sector over COVID-19, adding that the ban became imperative, following the Federal Government’s directive to ensure precautionary measures are taken to prevent the spread of the disease.
“The mere fact that few cases have been reported in the neighbouring states makes it imperative to act.
“As of 18th March 2020, the total number of cases as announced by the Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, stands at eight (8), with one of the five (5) recent cases confirmed on Wednesday, in Ekiti State.
“According to Ekiti State Government, the American and his caregiver arrived Nigeria on 3rd March 2020 via the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and were driven by the confirmed case in Ekiti to the city of Ibadan. They were in Ibadan for two weeks and arrived at Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State on 13th March 2020.
“Oyo State Government is now tracing the contacts of the Ekiti case. To not act now will be burying our heads in the sand. Osun is not an island and we as a government are aware of the sad stories of covid-19 around us, from our neighbouring states and all over the world.
“Though we have not recorded any case of the deadly virus, as a responsible government, we must be prepared so that we are not taken by surprise. The coronavirus scourge is a complex public health emergency, the type the world had never seen.
“Therefore, to protect our dear state, our children, and our economy will require our collective response and sacrifice. Government at both state and local government levels will lead but we will all need to do our bit to get through this bad patch.
“As a responsible and responsive government that places a premium on the well-being of its people, we will protect our citizens from potential and actual threats.
“We also urge our people to dedicatedly observe the precautionary protocols of thorough washing of hands with soap and clean water and the use of hand sanitiser; observing social distance and avoiding large gatherings, and alerting the authority of any suspected case.
“Our Technical Action Committee is working round the clock to beef up the State’s capacity for epidemiological control and management. We, therefore, call on citizens not to give in to undue panic,” the statement said.