By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Worried by the spread of CoronaVirus in some parts of Osun State, Governor Gboyega Oyetola has ordered total lockdown of four of the local government areas in the state.
According to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode, the concerned local government areas are Ilesa East, Ilesa West, Atakumosa East and Atakumosa West and that the total lockdown will be for seven days in the first instance.
The Commissioner stressed that the decision was arrived at during a meeting between the government and the stakeholders from the area and that the lockdown “is expected to commence on Tuesday, July 7, and it will be for one week in the first instance”.
“As you are all aware, the Federal Government, a few days ago lifted the ban on inter-state travel in the country. We have, therefore, lifted ours too. But our relaxation guidelines still subsists except for four local government areas, namely; Ilesa West, Ilesa East, Atakumosa West and Atakumosa East Local Government areas where we have now ordered a one-week lockdown, effective Tuesday, July 7.For the avoidance of doubt, our curfew will still run from 9.p.m to 5.a.m daily in other parts of the State, except the locked down LGAs”, she said.
The Commissioner added “for the four local government areas, all markets will remain shut, only neighbourhood markets and Pharmacies will be allowed to open. There must be strict adherence to stipulated physical distancing, the use of face masks, and observance of all other precautionary measures and established protocols of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“The Commissioner while pointing out that , “however, if the compliance level is not encouraging, the government will announce further extension” said the state government is ” closely monitoring other Local Government areas with rising numbers of those testing positive for COVID-19 and may in the days ahead lock down more areas.”
She maintained that the relaxation in other areas of the state has been extended by two weeks, adding that ” the decision to impose a total lockdown on the four local government areas was aimed at containing the spread of the virus in that axis of the State” and that the state government had every reason to believe that it was already witnessing what looked more like a community transmission in the area and as such there was need to come up with measures to arrest the trend, saying, ” the lockdown would be total.”
“Residents and citizens in that axis will not have opportunity to go to worship centres and markets during the period. They will only be allowed to shop within their neighbourhood. Under the lockdown, there would be no vehicular movement within the affected areas. Only those on essential duties such as health, fire service, environmental officials, security personnel, power and water supply agencies, media and telecommunication officers will be allowed to move”.
The Commissioner emphasized further that “intra-state travel to and within the affected communities and to other parts of the state is banned during the period of the lockdown,as violators of the lockdown order will be severely dealt with.”