Ogun State Government reveals why they extended lockdown

The Ogun State Government, on Friday, announced that it has extended a lockdown in the state by one week.

The governor, Dapo Abiodun, mentioned a significant increase in coronavirus cases as a reason, saying community transmission of the virus was on the rise in the state.

Abiodun said these at a press conference to provide an update on the government’s efforts to check the spread of the virus.

“In my last week briefing, the number of confirmed cases in Ogun State was 100. But, by yesterday, Thursday 14th May, 2020, we have recorded 34 more positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 134. This shows an increase of more than 30 per cent, in just one week,” he said.

Mr Abiodun said in the same period, the state discharged 20 additional patients who have been successfully treated at isolation centers. He said this was in addition to the 39 earlier discharged thus bringing the total to 59.

“The spike in the number of positive cases, particularly in the last one week, is attributable to two main factors. First is the expanded testing capacity, currently at 450 per day, that has enabled us to embark on aggressive testing, especially in the communities with possible high prevalence of infection such as our border communities.

“The testing has presented us with the stark reality that community transmission is on the increase in our rural and urban communities in Ogun State. We will keep expanding our testing capacity by deploying more personnel and testing centers to every nook and cranny of the State,” he stated.

The governor said the state has recorded five deaths in total.

“This leaves us with 70 active cases who are currently receiving care at our treatment centers. As usual, we hope and pray that they will also be discharged in due course.”

Mr Abiodun lamented that in spite of several warnings and the concerted efforts of security agencies, many residents have continued to flout the measures in place to flatten the curve of the spread.

“Some residents still come out in the public without the use of facemasks or use the facemasks in a manner that do not shield their mouths and noses; motorcycles and tricycles riders still carry more than the approved number of passengers of one and two respectively; and drivers of taxi cab and passenger buses are also culpable in this flagrant violations of the extant guidelines,” he said.

He also noted that markets have not fully complied with physical distancing and other measures to ensure the markets do not become the COVID-19 transmission centres.

He said between May 4 and 14, a total of 108 violators of the lockdown and other measures have been apprehended and prosecuted.

“They were promptly tried by the newly introduced mobile courts, with some of them made to pay fine whilst some are undergoing community service. In the same vein, 517 vehicles, 109 motorcycles and 6 tricycles were impounded for breaching the Presidential directive on curfew within the same period,” he said.

The governor said security agencies also intercepted travellers from other states who defied the ban on interstate travels. He said such travellers were turned back by security agencies.

He said in view of the evidence of community transmission and poor compliance with the lockdown measures, the government was constrained to extend the lockdown for another week till May 24.

“The current pattern of lockdown, with relaxation windows from 7.00 a.m to 5.00 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday continues. We will continue to monitor the level of compliance with the lockdown measures and incidence of community transmission and hopefully’

“There will be positive developments that will enable us further ease the lockdown at the end of this new lockdown period. We must also bear in mind that the daily curfew from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. and the ban on non-essential interstate travel as directed by Mr. President still stands’.

“Interestingly, the feedback from you, the people of Ogun State, from the Public Opinion Poll hosted on the Twitter, also support the extension of the lockdown. Out of about 6,000 respondents of the online poll, 53% support the continuation of the lockdown whilst 43% want a review with 4% undecided.”

The governor declared that the government will not tolerate any act of smuggling of people, either indigenes or non-indigenes into the state, stressing that, anybody found contravening this restriction will be immediately prosecuted.

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