Oyo State Governor, Engi Seyi Makinde, has said his Government is already working on palliatives to ease the pressure on the people, following the partial shutdown of activities as part of the precautionary measures to curtail the spread of Covid-19.
The Governor noted that the State would need to work on accurate data and design that would ensure the palliatives get into the hands of those who truly need them.
Engr Makinde stated these during a phone-in interview programme on a Radio Station in Ibadan, and a Tweetchat via his Twitter handle @seyiamakinde both on Saturday, March 28, 2020.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Government had stepped up enlightenment campaigns on COVID-19, while also enforcing measures on the lockdown of activities in the State.
Governor Makinde maintained that as part of measures to contain the spread of the disease in the State, the State Government in collaboration with the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, has set up a Diagnostic Centre to handle testing of samples, adding that the State was only awaiting NCDC endorsement.
He explained that once the Centres are certified, it would become easier to test more people.
More preventive measures already in place, according to the State Governor, is the Isolation Centres with: 4-bed in Ogbomoso, 10-bed at Jericho, 4-bed at UCH and 100-bed capacity at Olodo, Ibadan, which will be ready on Thursday.
He noted that the ICU beds in the State currently have ventilators.
The Governor further noted that the State has Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers in all 33 LGAs and 35 LCDAs and that Local Government Caretaker Chairpersons were already involved in enlightenment campaigns and implementation of directives, complementing the State-wide campaign and efforts to prevent COVID-19 in the State.
Governor Makinde maintained that the State has ensured that health workers have the required equipment and personal gears, and that wherever it identified gaps, it would immediately plug them.
He counseled the people of the State to stay safe by following the proper hygienic practices which are: washing of hands regularly, using alcohol-based hand sanitisers and also practising social distancing.
The Governor explained that, though the administration understood the challenges of asking residents to stay at home, the decision to shut down activities was in the best interest of the State because it would be effective in curtailing the spread of the virus.
According to Governor Makinde, it has put up additional measures to combat the pandemic, including the reduction of gathering from 30 to 10 people, closure of markets to all traders except those selling foodstuffs and a 7p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew as well as a ban on transportation to and from the State.
He explained that the directive on religious gathering is for all religions, as COVID-19 is not a respecter of any religion, saying that the risk of breaking any of the directives is huge and would affect everyone.
Governor Makinde, who equally informed residents of the State that he was in self-isolation following an instruction to all Governors who attended the last National Economic Council Meeting in Abuja, noted that he would be the first to get tested once the State Diagnostic Centre comes on stream after NCDC’s certification.
The Governor, who called on well-meaning individuals and organisations who have the intention of collaborating with the State in one way or the other to fight COVID-19, charged them to reach out to the State’s Commissioner for Health or the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force on areas where they can collaborate.
He acknowledged that already some private entities have begun to cooperate with the State on the COVID-19 prevention.