Ondo state is not among the badly hit states in the country, but BARNABAS OLABISI reports that the state government is complying with standard safety measures to prevent Covid-19.
It was like a child play as Corona virus pandemic spread across the globe like wild fire from Wuhan, China to Nigeria moving to some states of the federation, while Ondo state as at the time of filing this report barely had any known serious case.
The state was still nursing the devastation caused by Lassa fever until this pandemic hit all the nooks and crannies of the globe including Nigeria thereby instilling fear in both the rich and poor in society.
While pocket of cases noted across some states of the federation have been reported, Ondo remained one of the states that is relatively Corona virus-free judging from reports from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Part of remedial measures
However, since it was noticed in the country, the state government has been putting in place precautionary measures to curtail the spread of the virus.
For example, various campaigns and sensitisation programmes have been going on with a view to stemming the tide of the scourge in the state.
Parts of the measures put in place, according to Blueprint investigation are similar to those put up at the federal level which include social distancing, closure of schools, suspension of all government engagements, closure of markets and stalls, except those selling food items, water and medications. Others include ban on religious gathering, clubs and social gathering, while government continues the sensitisation programme on most of her media stations to enlighten the people.
More safety measures
Apart from these, the state governor Rotimi Akeredolu went on air to stage a sensitisation play on how to stay safe from the virus.
While the citizens obeyed the stay safe measures stipulated by government, he also called for more measures like providing hand-washing and sanitising points at strategic locations in public places across the state.
Also, health institution were advised to be more fortified with necessary medical kits in order to prevent the virus from spreading in the state.
However, residents in the state are now groaning over the stay at home order by the state government as most business people continue to count their losses while sales and consumption of alcohol now gets a boost as both male and female drink much alcohol as a form of sanitiser.
A drive round Akure, capital city of the state indicates that it id now like a ghost town as many shops and stalls are under lock and keys with gates of both private/public schools under lock while many streets are scanty and deserted.
The state government has also ordered a total closure of all markets, shops and stalls across the entire 18 local government areas of the state.
As part of measures to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state government had initially ordered partial closure of markets across the state. The directive advisedly, excluded life saving items like food, water and medicines.
Gov’t angry at non- compliance on safety measures
In a release signed by the state commissioner for information and orientation, Donald Ojogo, he stated that it was observed that residents of the state flagrantly disobeyed the directive which is a potent measure to avoid the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Compelled by this unwholesome infraction, the state government hereby places a total ban on all markets across the state with effect from Tuesday, 31st March, 2020. This ban is irrespective of any item. For emphasis, all markets must remain closed until further notice.”
With this new development, citizens were groaning and calling for palliative measures on the part of government at all levels as the people are forced to remain at home due to fear of the pandemic.