Ogun State Government says compulsory wearing of face mask in the public will commence in the State on Monday, May 1, 2020, warning that violators will spend 14 days in Isolation centre and made to perform community service.
The State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who stated this at a press briefing, held at his Iperu home, said about two million face masks would be made available and given to those on essential services and people who could not afford it.
The Governor, while giving an update of the COVID-19 situation in the State, said the State currently has 29 confirmed cases, out of which Six have been discharged, while the remaining are receiving treatment, adding that the rise in number was due to increase of those tested so far.
“We are working against the spread of this COVID-19. As from May 1, it will be compulsory for everybody in the State to wear face mask. We deliberately delay enforcing it so that our people can have enough time to get their own. After May 1, anyone who fails to wear face mask will be viewed as deliberately planning to infect others and will be arrested and put in our isolation centres and made to carry out community service.
“Some of the cases are Immigrants coming to our State from the land borders. The peculiarity of Ogun State put us at a vulnerable position. That means that just as we have advantages, we also have some disadvantages”, the Governor stated.
He said the State has made testing booths available for people at border towns and highly populated areas, saying the Intensive Care Unit at the 250 bedded hospital at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, was ready for use, while the Molecular machine for testing COVID-19 patients has been inspected by officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and waiting endorsement by other relevant body to commence operation.
Prince Abiodun appreciated the front line medical personnel for a job well done, saying government would review their allowances and other working conditions to make them more effective.
While warning that government would not hesitate in prosecuting purveyors of fake news, for causing anxiety in the society, the Governor allayed the fears of the people, saying adequate measures have been put in place to secure their lives and property.
Abiodun further disclosed that the residence donated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, meant to serve as an isolation centre would no longer be used for the intended purpose, following protest from the resident of the area.
“We appreciate Baba Obasanjo for donating his former residence to us, that residence was meant to serve as an isolation center, not a treatment center, it was meant to be a place where we keep suspected persons until we get their result, either positive or negative, however, that building is in a residential area and also in a high brow area and unfortunately, we’ve got a lot of pushback from the resident association of that location and they have protested that they don’t want an isolation centre there.
“Out of fear, a lot of them who are a bit elderly, believed that the centre might make them vulnerable to the virus, and out of respect to everyone and particularly our senior citizens, we have respectively listened to them and obliged them, so, we will not be using that place as an isolation centre but as a place to keep our doctors who are on call, those that will be working at the 18 bed and Iberekodo centres, they will live there,” he said.
He informed that the State would soon commence the second phase of distributing food items to the elderly, the poor and vulnerable, as the lessons learnt during the first phase would be handy, cautioning against diversion, as this would be viewed as act of sabotage against the State, with severe consequences.
Abiodun, while informing the people that the State would continue to have its window of break on Monday, 27th April, 2020 from 7.00am to 2.00pm and other days as may be reviewed, enjoined the people to adhere to social distance and other directives meant to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic
Governor Abiodun called on Muslim faithful to use to Ramadan period to pray for solution to the pandemic, saying that it was the responsibility of all to fight against the disease and stop it from spreading in communities.