…says state on high alert, resources deployed
…warns residents to practise personal hygiene
The Oyo State government, on Thursday, allayed the fears of residents of the state on the Corona Virus pandemic, declaring that there is no confirmed case of the disease in the state yet.
The state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bashir Bello, who made the disclosure at a press conference held at the Agodi Secretariat, maintained that following the confirmed cases of the virus in neighbouring states, all facilities in the state are on high alert and that resources have been deployed to facilities in case of unforeseen circumstances.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted the Commissioner as urging residents of the state not to panic over the recent confirmed case of a Corona Virus victim in Ekiti State, who was said to have transited from Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
He stated that contact-tracing has already begun, adding that the surveillance system has already been set up in the state.
He maintained that the individual who was said to have transited through Ibadan did not actually stay in a hotel but at a private residence, which has already been identified by the surveillance officers of the Ministry of Health.
The Commissioner said: “I am here today to further address the unfortunate incidence of the confirmation of cases of Corona Virus in Nigeria. The Oyo State Ministry of Health has continued to follow the unravelling of the outbreak. Since its outbreak in December 2019, over 170,000 cases and 7,000 deaths have been reported across over 150 countries of the world.
“So, at this point, the Ministry of Health wishes to inform the general public that despite the report of several cases of Corona Virus in the country, our Ministry is committed towards ensuring a disease-free Oyo State.
“This is particularly important because these cases have been in neighbouring states. The Oyo State Ministry of Health would like to reassure the public that our surveillance system has been activated and contact-tracing is ongoing.
“For instance, the individuals involved in the confirmed cases in Ekiti State, transmitting through Ibadan, our state capital. Contact-tracing is on. As of today, we have a case of an individual who just returned from the UK; but the individual is observing the protocol of self-isolation.
“Some tests are currently being carried out on samples collected from the said individual by the National Reference Laboratory, LUTH, for South-West. The test results are being expected tomorrow.
“At this point, all facilities in Oyo State remain on high alert and adequate resources have been deployed to all facilities in case of unforeseen circumstances.”
He added: “Let me at this juncture note that the provision of qualitative health care is a joint responsibility of all. The media, which you all represent, has a cardinal role to play in the dissemination of appropriate information to the public and it is thus a major partner. Together we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 to Oyo State.”
The Commissioner stressed that it is important for residents of the state to remain calm and also ensure strict adherence to hygienic practices such as regular washing of hands with soap and running water or use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser, observation of good respiratory hygiene such as covering of the nose and mouth with toilet papers when sneezing or coughing, proper disposal of used toilet papers and washing of hands.
He said: “Once again, I wish to reassure the people of the State that there is currently no confirmed case of Corona Virus in Oyo State until the result of the said individual return to us.
“The public is, therefore, implored to remain calm and to ensure strict adherence to hygiene practices (Regular hand washing with soap and running water or use of alcohol based sanitisers).
“They should observe good respiratory hygiene (covering of the nose and mouth with tissue paper when sneezing or coughing and proper immediate disposal of the used tissue paper as well as immediate hand washing).”
On whether the state would place a ban on public gathering or not, Dr. Bello maintained that the Ministry has been preaching social distancing, noting that citizens must recognize the danger inherent in public gatherings at this period by following all the preventive measures.
He added: “As regards the issue of public gathering, what we are doing is not just telling people that there is no danger but there must be no alarm, provided we take all the precautions that are necessary. Ours is to alert the public to take some preventive measures so as to remain safe. This is an epidemic, which has no borders or way. So, if it is attended to at the outset, the prognosis is usually better.
“As regards the issue of gathering in churches and mosques, that is the warning we are giving to the people. If we decidedly ban religious worships, you will hear different opinions that it will generate; that Oyo State government stopped people from worshipping God. So, people who know all these public health preventive measures don’t need to be given a second hand.
“We are now calling on all citizens to, please, rely on their intelligent quotient. We are saying that, even between two people, we should maintain a social distance, how much less going to a gathering. People should intelligibly know how to take care of their lives not necessarily when they get a ban. Anybody attending any social gathering now should know it is dangerous.
“So, we advise that here in Oyo State, all groups and societies concerned should, please, try and avoid or cancel any such gathering being proposed on grounds of public health.
“The public is, hereby, implored to practice preventive measures like social distancing, staying about six feet from the next person, limit social gathering and social contact to only when absolutely necessary. Because of the fluid nature of development around COVID-19, as the world evolves in its handling of the pandemic, we in Oyo State are also evolving and exploring ways to address the situation.”
The Commissioner hinted that the Oyo State government is committed towards ensuring a disease-free state by placing the surveillance system and contact tracing in all the nooks and crannies of the state.
He implored individuals arriving the state from countries where COVID-19 outbreak has occurred to notify the Ministry of Health on arrival, and undergo supervised self-isolation for at least 14 days before moving around, urging such individuals to report symptoms observed during self-isolation to the Ministry.
He said: “More importantly, the Ministry wishes to strongly implore all individuals arriving Oyo State and other parts of Nigeria from countries with ongoing COVID-19 outbreak to notify the Ministry of Health on arrival, and undergo supervised self-isolation for at least fourteen days before moving around.
“Such individuals should promptly report symptoms observed during self-isolation to Oyo State Ministry of Health. I wish to enjoin family members and neighbours to advise individuals arriving from such countries to ensure strict compliance with the 14-day self-isolation and to promptly notify the Ministry of Health if it is not complied with.
“We also enjoin private health facilities to conform with expected universal precaution and protocols when attending to all clients.
“There is the need to have a high index of suspicion especially with cases of unexplainable fever and upper respiratory tract infections.
“I also wish to quickly state that other State Health facilities are available and accessible to members of the public for the provision of care.”
The Commissioner put out the following mobile numbers: 08038210122, 07032067763, 08023229267 and 08073431342 as Emergency Numbers to call in case of symptoms related with Corona Virus.
Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga
Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.
The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.
In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:
“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.
“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.
A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.
Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.
PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.
According to a source, who spoke to PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige; a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu, Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.
A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.
The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.
The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.
“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.
“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”
On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”
On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”
But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.
Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.
He said, “Those who came are men of honour and kabiyesi did not say he did not want to see them. He did not say he would not see them because they are critical of President Buhari or they are former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s men. Obasanjo himself is a friend of Kabiyesi, so you can see that what you were told was not what happened.
“Kabiyesi said he could not see them because they did not give him prior notice that they were coming. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to see them again. They can notify him and he will give them an appointment. You cannot just come and say you want to see him, there are protocols to follow and due process is always adhered to at Alaafin’s Palace.
“There was no rancour, no ill-feeling even when they were going; I was there and I saw them off to their vehicles. If anybody told you that kabiyesi said he didn’t want to see them because they are critical of government or they are Obasanjo’s men, that is a lie.”
NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital
Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.
Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.
“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”
“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.
“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.
“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”
Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.
“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.
Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.
He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.
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