As the Oyo State government sets to reopen its State Secretariat after shutting it down for two weeks, in the wake of the confirmation of the novel Coronavirus in the State, Governor Seyi Makinde has disclosed that the Secretariat will undergo decontamination between April 13 and 15, 2020.
Governor Makinde, who made the disclosure on Wednesday during a Press Briefing after a meeting of the State Task Force Team on COVID-19 at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, also revealed that the State would, by next week, roll out palliatives for the poorest of the poor, to cushion the effect of the Coronavirus on the people.
He said, “The Team in charge of decontamination are sending letters to religious leaders, traditional rulers, private organisations to decontaminate their facilities using standardised decontaminators. We are also considering rapid testing through additional centres to enable us to track the behaviour of the virus as far as the State is concerned.”
Flanked by other members of the Task Force, Makinde, who is also the Chairman, explained that the NCDC protocol was being followed at the approved laboratory, the Virology laboratory in UCH, and once it is approved, the State government would roll out rapid testing aimed at 10,000 residents through the additional centres to be created.
He noted, “Once we have alignment on the protocol to be followed, we will roll this out and our aspiration to test up to 10,000 people in Oyo state within the possible time will be actualised. The modelling of the State epidemiologist will help us determine the next step regarding the curfew and reopening of schools.”
Makinde stated that his government had already begun work on a law that would make the wearing of mask in public places compulsory as a way of slowing down the spread of the virus in the State, saying “although it may not be comfortable, if the discomfort is what it would take to slow down the spread of the virus, then his government would ensure it is done”.
Use of local solutions
As part of ways to deal with the virus, he also advocated the use of local or home-grown solutions, in deference to the opinions of experts, adding that from experience he knows that one has to build one’s immunity to conquer the Coronavirus.
Makinde stated that he was convinced that Nigerians had the capacity and intellect to look at things that work locally to cure the virus, saying since we have always known how to deal with flu, catarrh and cough, in ways different from the Western world, the State would explore different avenues and find a cure.
The Governor, on behalf of the government and the people of the State, expressed appreciation to those who have donated to support the State Endowment Fund for COVID-19 and those thinking about supporting it.
“I learnt from the Commissioner of Finance that we have realised close to N200million and people are still donating. I have gone round to check the food items that have been donated. I want to thank everyone that has given us support to fight the pandemic and for those who are yet to donate or support, this is an opportunity to do so,” Makinde said.
Governor Makinde has since tested negative to the coronavirus after being diagnosed of the virus last month.