By David Adeoye
The Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, headed by Gov. Seyi Makinde, has announced the cancellation of the 10 p.m. curfew imposed on the state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, said in a statement that the curfew had been abolished after series of reviews.
The task force, however, specifically warned night clubs operators to desist from accommodating persons in closed areas within their premises, adding that research confirmed that the virus spread faster when people clustered in closed venues.
According to the statement, an advisory will be sent to night club owners by the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) arm of the task force, which will warn operators not to allow guests into their enclosed areas.
The statement further indicated that the task force issued another warning to residents of the state to continue to follow the OWN YOUR ACTION initiative as the state “is not completely out of the woods with regards to COVID-19.”
It explained that the decision by the Makinde-led task force to abolish the curfew was premised on the need to reduce the burden on business owners, whom, it said, had been affected by the curfew, especially since the COVID-19 situation had begun to improve in the state.
“Though it appeared that COVID-19 cases are coming down in the state, the confidence interval cannot be determined yet,” it said.
It warned residents of the state not to jettison the guidelines on the prevention of the virus, including washing of hands, social distancing and use of nose masks.
The statement said that Makinde had directed the EOC not to relent in data gathering and analysis in order to appropriately situate the context of the virus within the state.
According to the statement, the governor has also approved the conversion of the Aawe Isolation Centre to a Level 3 Primary Health Care Centre (PHC), directing that the facility should be decontaminated and handed over to the Hospitals Management Board.
Similarly, the statement confirmed that the task force approved that except for the Infectious Disease Centre, Olodo, Ibadan, other isolation centres in the state could be converted to Level 3 PHC.
It, however, stated that whenever a spike in COVID-19 cases was noticed in the location where any of the facilities was situated, such a facility would be re-converted as an isolation centre or a part of it would be so utilised as an isolation centre.
The statement also indicated that the task force directed the Oyo State Hospitals Management Board to identify a Primary Health Care Centre around Olodo axis of Ibadan, which would be upgraded to take care of residents in that axis.
In its briefing at the meeting, the EOC reported that it had, in collaboration with the Information Communication Centre of the state, developed a portal for the registration of NCDC-licensed private laboratories for the conduct of COVID-19 tests.
In all, the task force noted that a total of 15,700 COVID-19 tests had been conducted, with 3,118 confirmed cases and 37 fatalities.
The Special Adviser to the governor on Health, Dr Funmi Salami, also hinted that there had been a spike in the cases of stroke among the elderly in the state, largely due to being confined to their various homes in order to avoid COVID-19 infections.
The task force, therefore, approved that advisory messages on how to avoid stroke would be rolled out through designated media outlets.
The statement further said that the state was already designing an advisory guideline on voluntary compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
On his part, the Commissioner for Education, Olasunkanmi Olaleye, reiterated that concerted efforts had been made to ensure that schools complied with COVID-19 safety protocols upon resumption.
The statement concluded that so far, the state had received donations in cash, agricultural goods and health equipment to the tune of N1.273 billion since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state.
The governor therefore appreciated everyone who supported the state in different ways during the pandemic.(NAN)