Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State yesterday suspended the planned opening of all religious centres in Ogun State, citing low compliance with the guidelines and precautionary measures against the disease by residents and citizens as well as the “doubling of the infection rate in state.”
Abiodun had told reporters last week that the ban on places of worship would be lifted from yesterday while lockdown would remain on Saturdays and Sundays.
He reversed the decision yesterday saying religious centres are the most veritable and potent ground to spread the deadly virus.
According to him, Ogun had a total of 586 cases by Monday as against a total of 316 on the 4th of June, representing an increase of 270 or over 85% in 14 days.
He noted that the number of cases recorded from first index case on 27th Feb to 4th June – a period of 98 days – had almost doubled in just 14 days.
However, 315 patients have been successfully treated and discharged while six more deaths have also been recorded in the last 14 days.
He said community transmission was on the increase, regretting also that in spite of the spirited efforts of the government to create awareness about the deadly nature of the pandemic and the guidelines in place to flatten the curve of the spread, the compliance level of residents and citizens remained very much below expectation.
Abiodun threatened to arrest operators of sports viewing centres and their patrons as well as shut down the operation of commercial motorcycles in the state if they were found to be compromising the safety and health of people by their activities.
Abiodun said: “After a careful review of the data, feedback from the field, expert opinions, and lessons from far and near, two major conclusions are very clear and obvious to all: first, the COVID-19 situation in Ogun State and indeed in the country as a whole has not improved since the last update.
“And there are dire consequences in loss of human lives for premature relaxation of the guidelines, necessitating a rollback of the relaxation in a number of states and countries. Unfortunately, guidelines may be rolled back, the lost human lives cannot be rolled back.
“We are confronted with two choices – yield to the demand of those who want the restrictions to be further relaxed or even completely removed, even if this is at variance with the dictates of incontrovertible data analysis and scientific opinion; or toe the path that preserves public health and safety, even if not so popular.
“As a responsible Administration, we choose life and the wellbeing of our citizens and are therefore constrained to take the painful but necessary decision to maintain the current regime of eased lockdown in the meantime.
“We are consequently suspending our initially slated reopening of places of worship. Let me thank some of our religious leaders who by themselves advised us that this is the best decision that we should take at this time in the best interest of all of us.
“This is not an easy decision, but we are confident that the wisdom and scientific basis for this decision will become clearer to those who may have initial misgivings about it. Since the advent of this pandemic in our state, our cautious, methodical, data-driven and scientifically supported approach has ensured not only comparably superior outcomes, we have also not had reasons to reverse our decisions, because our decisions are usually well thought out.
“For clarity, the existing guidelines to combat COVID-19 in the state that will continue in the mean time: all five working days in the week (Monday to Friday) are still opened for businesses and other economic transactions with only Saturday and Sunday as lockdown days;
Observation of dusk-to-dawn curfew as directed by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) i.e. between 10.00pm and 4.00 am daily;
“Restrictions on Interstate travel are still in force;
“Wearing of face masks in the public is still mandatory;
“Only one passenger is still allowed for motorcycles and two passengers only for tricycles. We observed that okada (motorcycles) are breaking this law and we will not hesitate to ban all motorcycles from operating in our State if our resolve is further put to test;
“Taxi cabs and buses still have 60% limitation on their carrying capacity and the measure to arrest and impound any driver that contravenes this in our state is still in force;
“The COVID-19 Task Force in markets must continue to ensure physical distancing, availability of hand washing facilities, and use of gloves and facemasks for traders;
“Decontamination will continue in our markets and other public places;
“Limitation of all gatherings to a maximum number of 20, is still in effect.”
Indian who received visitors from Kano, Lagos tests positive to Coronavirus in Osun
Osun State on Friday recorded four new cases of Coronavirus, bringing the total in the state to 54.
Medical personnel are among the new cases, according to Health Commissioner Rafiu Isamotu.
An Indian resident in the state is also said to have contracted the virus after receiving visitors from Kano and Lagos states.
He added that the other new cases had contact with previous cases in the state.
The Commissioner also disclosed that the state has discharged four COVID-19 patients from isolation centre in Osogbo.
He said: “We had six active cases in the State. Of the six, we successfully treated and discharged four. But we recorded one new case on Thursday and by today, Friday, June 19, we recorded three new cases, bringing our total active cases to six.”
Giving a summary of COVID-19 cases in the State, Isamotu said that out of the 54 cases confirmed, the State had successfully treated and discharged 44 patients while four deaths had been recorded