Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has relaxed the lockdown imposed on the state to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Fayemi, in a state-wide broadcast on Sunday, said with effect from Monday, June 1, residents of the state now have opportunities to pursue their businesses from Monday to Friday between 6am and 8pm.
The governor further said public officers on Grade Level 8 and above are to resume for duty on Monday June 1, while those on Grade Level 7 and below are to remain at home till further notice.
Fayemi stressed that the dusk-to-dawn curfew will resume daily at 8pm and will last till 5.59 am the following morning.
He also announced that the state’s molecular laboratory will be commissioned on Monday to facilitate testing for COVID-19, urging residents to give maximum support to the medical experts conducting the tests as modalities have been devised to ensure a seamless exercise.
“I therefore urge you to willingly submit yourselves for testing when the officials get to your neighborhood.
“This also provides an opportunity for those who might have had symptoms associated with COVID-19 to freely come out for testing at no cost to them,” he added
The governor reiterated his earlier order that all Ekiti boundaries will remain on complete lockdown daily pending further review at national level.
Speaking on likelihood of resumption of public centers, Fayemi promised that religious centres will reopen “very soon” revealing that a committee will be engaging with religious organisations to fashion out a workable protocol.
The workable protocol, he said, will enable religious houses to reopen very soon without jeopardising the lives and health of worshippers.
On the fate of schools in Ekiti, the governor explained that efforts to reopen them are also ongoing “as the committee set up to appraise the protocols, resources, conditions and modalities for reopening has concluded its work.”
Fayemi also said government is considering reopening major markets to permanent shop owners, after the outcome of the engagement process that is ongoing on the relocation of roadside traders to available alternatives.
The reopening of the major markets, the governor said will be subject to compliance with specific conditions and protocols that are being determined.
On when the state will totally open up its economy, Fayemi said: “Once the report of the random testing shows that we are safe generally, it would further give fillip to our confidence to fully open up our state and return to our normal way of life.”
He expressed delight that appreciable progress has been made in the fight against COVID-19 since the second phase of the lockdown a month ago, saying “partly in consonance with national strategy to ban interstate movement, which makes review of existing regulations necessary.”
The governor disclosed that Ekiti has so far recorded 20 COVID-19 cases, with 16 of the patients successfully treated and discharged. He added that only two active cases are left at the state’s isolation centre while two cases were lost.
He further stated that about 300 contact tracing were done,with over 200 persons tested so far in the state.
He expressed gratitude to front line medical personnel, task force team, security agents, the COVID-19 Response Resource Mobilisation Committee and the general public.
The governor also appreciated the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) led by Alhaji Aliko Dangote for its donation and Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu-led National Cenre for Disease Control (NCDC) for its technical assistance.