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Oyo discovers 84 suspected cases of Covid-19, imposes curfew

GOVERNOR Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has ordered a dusk-to-dawn curfew in the state after 84 new suspected cases of COVID 19 were discovered. The state already has three confirmed cases of the disease, with the National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, confirming two cases on Friday.

A suspected case, according to the NCDC, is “any person (including severely ill patients) presenting with fever, cough or difficulty in breathing” and “who within 14 days before the onset of illness had any of the following exposures:

  1. History of travel to and more than 24 hours transit through any high risk country with widespread community transmission os SARS-Cov, or
  2. Close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 or
  3. Exposure to a healthcare facility where COVID-19 case(s) have been reported”

Makinde in a series of tweets early on Saturday morning said 84 persons of interest have been identified, and contact tracing and collection of samples have commenced.

The governor also banned all inter-states transportation, shut markets and restricted gatherings to not more than 10 persons, with effect from Sunday night.

He tweeted, “The COVID-19 confirmation test for two suspected cases has come back positive. The isolation process has been initiated. 84 Persons of Interest have been identified, and contact tracing and collection of samples have commenced.

“The state’s diagnostic centre set up in collaboration with the University College Hospital is now ready. The @NCDCgov certification is still pending but the Director-General of NCDC has made a pre-statement about the molecular laboratory in Oyo State.

“The index case remains stable and is still under observation in the isolation unit at Agbami Chest Centre, Jericho. The number of confirmed cases in Oyo State is now three.

“As a result of this, I have directed that the following additional measures be put in place: a dusk-to-dawn curfew (7pm to 6am); no gatherings of more than 10 people should be held anywhere in Oyo State.

“From Sunday night, March 29, 2020, all markets will be closed except those selling perishable food items.

“Also, inter-state transportation into and out of the state will be suspended except vehicles carrying food items, medical, pharmaceutical and petroleum products. This takes effect from Sunday night, March 29, 2020. All measures will be reviewed on a weekly basis.”

The ICIR contacted Taiwo Adisa, Chief Press Secretary of the governor, who confirmed the development, saying that the 84 suspected cases were discovered through contact tracing of the three confirmed cases and that those the state has been able to track are being closely watch.

“We have taken samples and they are going through the normal  process. By the time the process is completed, the state or Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) will announce,” he said.

It would be recalled that the Oyo State government received a lot of criticism for allowing a rally by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to hold in Ibadan on March 18, even as the country grappled with the Corona Virus pandemic.

Makinde later apologised to the people of the state, saying that the rally should not have been allowed to hold.

“I have received your complaints about the rally that was held yesterday, and I feel obligated to state in clear terms that we acted based on the information we had at that time. In retrospect, it should not have happened and I take responsibility for that lapse in judgement.

“We do not currently have any confirmed case of coronavirus in Oyo State; (yet,) we still all need to be more proactive.”

The state has recored three cases since the rally was held.

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