OSUN, MR. ADEGBOYEGA OYETOLA, ON THE REVIEW OF THE SECOND LOCKDOWN IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK ON THURSDAY, 30TH APRIL, 2020 My Dear Good People of the State of Osun, The past four weeks have tested our collective resolve and tried our resilience as a people. Collectively, we have risen stoutly to the occasion and proved that standing together, we can push back against a battle as fierce as the COVID-19 pandemic. We have sacrificed our freedoms, endured hardships and put our businesses and livelihoods on hold. We have been our brother’s keeper to give this dreaded virus a fight, made concerted efforts to heal our land and save our people.
I therefore heartily commend you all for your perseverance, understanding and demonstration of love for our State and its people.
You will all recall that the uncertainties of the pandemic and the need to contain the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak in the State after the index case were responsible for the initial 14-day lockdown.
Unfortunately, at the point of attaining two weeks of no new cases and no death, we recorded 14 new cases, including three of our health workers. Sadly, two of the cases with underlying ailments died in their respective homes. I pray for the repose of their souls.
Eight of the newly-detected cases were returnees from Benin Republic; two recently returned from Lagos; three had contacts with previously-confirmed cases, while the remaining one who is a Tuberculosis patient was ferried in from Ibadan.
Put together, therefore, our State has so far recorded 34 COVID-19 cases. Eighteen of them had been treated and discharged, while the rest are undergoing treatment.
I must place on record the steadfastness of all health workers and volunteers for their unusual commitment to duty and sacrifice in arresting the spread of this much-dreaded COVID-19 pandemic. Your collective sacrifice will never be in vain.
I also wish to salute the cooperation of our Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders, Captains of Industry, Businessmen, Security Agencies, Farmers, Artisans, Students, Pressmen, Workers, our Market women and men, NURTW leadership and its RTEAN counterpart, and indeed all other interest groups in the State for their cooperation which has earned us the credit to arrest the rising profile of the pandemic in the State.
We must restate that COVID-19 is real and we have resolved to do our best to avoid loss of any more lives to the virus. It is this conviction that has informed our Government’s strategic response to this pandemic so far.
While we must acknowledge the collective gains we have made so far, it is important I emphasise that all is not yet well. The influx of people into the State is capable of compromising whatever gains we have recorded. I, therefore, appeal to our citizens and residents not to admit any visitor under whatever guise during this period.
As a matter fact, experts are of the opinion that our country is still few months away from the mark. In truth, the recent resurgence in the number of cases in our State is a telling indication that we have to tread with utmost caution.
To avoid escalating community transmission, we have decided to review the lockdown which terminates at midnight of today, Thursday, 30th April, to strike a midway without unnecessarily putting the lives of our people and the economy of the State at risk.
The following rules shall apply in line with the recommendations of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the approval of Mr. President and our peculiar situation:
There shall be 3 days lockdown extension, with effect from 11.59pm on Thursday, 30th April till Sunday, 3rd May. All the prevailing lockdown conditions shall subsist during this period.
Effective from Monday, 4th May, 2020, the following rules shall be enforced:
There shall be partial lockdown between 6am and 5pm from Monday to Thursday to enable the people go about their businesses and allow government to run. However, total lockdown shall be in force from 6pm on Thursday to Sunday.
There shall also be a dusk to dawn curfew from 6pm – 6am from Monday to Thursday until further notice. Movement of vehicle and persons is outlawed during the period of the curfew except for verified medical emergency cases and those on essential duties. Also, the ban on public, religious, political and educational gatherings remains in force. Additionally, all major markets shall remain shut.
Citizens must observe such protocols as social distancing, hand-washing and wearing of masks at all times in public places. Defaulters shall be sanctioned accordingly.
Businesses are expected to provide liquid soap and running water and hand sanitisers, while supermarkets should not have more than 10 persons at any time in their store.
Inter-state travels are forbidden and as such, our boundaries remain closed.
For the avoidance of doubt, there shall be no vehicular and human movement into and out of the State except trucks carrying medicals, beverages, foods, petroleum, construction and agriculture supplies. These supply vehicles shall not carry more than 3 persons.
Intra-city commercial transportation will be permitted to work from Monday to Thursday every week from 6am to 5pm, but they are required to adhere to strict social distancing directives. Commercial vehicles, that is: buses and taxis, shall carry two passengers per row with each passenger sitting at the extreme end of the vehicle. While commercial motorcycles (Okada) shall carry one passenger, tricycles shall carry not more than 2 passengers and no passenger in front.
Violators of the aforementioned directives will be prosecuted in accordance with the laws of the State.
Any facility or establishment that violates the above directives will be shut down and any vehicle caught in violation will be forfeited to the State Government.
Government will continue to intensify efforts at COVID-19 testing so as to be able to deal with the pandemic as quickly as possible.
Officers and staff on Grade Level 12 and above, Administrative Officers irrespective of their grade levels, those on essential services and those whose services may be required by the Accounting Officers are to report at their desks, Monday to Thursday at the usual working hours. They must adhere strictly to the protocols of the NCDC.
You will all recall that the distribution of the palliatives sourced by the 21-member Food and Relief Committee began on Tuesday this week.
The committee will continue to source for and administer palliatives for the vulnerable in the State in conjunction with relevant government officials.
On behalf of the Government and People of the State of Osun, I express immense gratitude to the 21-member Food and Relief Committee who threw their all into this assignment in the service of their fellow citizens. Their commitment demonstrates in clear terms that our most precious capital is our people. The people whom they have served selflessly have something to learn from their example and pass to posterity.
COVID-19 transmission is a human error which occurs as a result of indiscipline and ignorance. I would therefore like to appeal to all of us to obey the rules in our collective interest.
I commend security agencies for their role in enforcing the lockdown order at our land boundaries. I appeal to them to eschew all acts capable of compromising their effectiveness at their duty posts, as any act of compromise is capable of eroding whatever gains we may have recorded in our battle to contain the spread of the virus.
My Dear Good People of Osun, the rise in our COVID-19 patients in the last four weeks were predominantly as a result of imported cases. We have been able to limit community transmission to its barest minimum as a result of your phenomenal cooperation and discipline. Our ability to continue on this path will determine the progress we shall make going forward.
Let us therefore collectively focus on doing all it takes to hold this deadly virus in check and heal our land. Together, we can do it.
I thank you for listening.