Osun State Government on Sunday announced a total lockdown of the state as from Tuesday, March 31st, following the confirmation of a second case of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
The government reaffirmed its commitment to shut down all land boundaries with effect from midnight, Sunday, March 29th.
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola made the disclosure during a statewide broadcast on Sunday morning.
He maintained that there would be no movement within the state while the shutdown lasts, while those on essential duties such as health personnel, fire service, environmental officials, security personnel, power and water supply agencies, media and telecommunication officers will remain on duty.
The governor described the decision as imperative in view of the devastating nature of the pandemic.
He added that the first priority of any responsive and responsible government is to respond effectively to protect its citizens when an emergency occurs.
Oyetola, who expressed sadness at the latest incident, reiterated that the decision remained the only way to go if the state must contain the spread of the disease which has already claimed close to 31,000 victims worldwide from over 600,000 cases.
The governor’s statement reads:
“Following a review of our current situation, we have in addition to the subsisting measures taken in the past one week, decided to shut down all our boundaries, effective from midnight Sunday, March 29, 2020. In addition, a complete lockdown of the state will come into effect from midnight, Tuesday, March 31, 2020
“We believe this is the way to go if we must contain the spread of this virus. To this end, we urge citizens and residents to take advantage of the hours between now and Tuesday to stock up provisions that will last them two weeks in the first instance.
“During the lockdown, there will be no movement within the state. The closed boundaries also means there will be no inter-state movements. However, those on essential duties such as health personnel, fire service, environmental officials, security personnel, power and water supply agencies, media and telecommunication officers will be on duty. Also, pharmaceutical and medical outfits will be allowed to open.
“We have mandated and mobilised the state’s task force and security operatives to enforce measures to the letter. We, therefore, strongly advise our people to remain in their homes during the period of the lockdown.
“When an emergency occurs, such as the one at hand, the first priority of any responsive and responsible government is to respond effectively to protect its citizens. This is what we will continue to do.”
The governor urged state residents not to be panicked by the new measures but to continue to adhere to government’s instructions and directives on the need for them to continue to observe necessary precautionary measures, including regular washing of the hands with running water and soap, the use of hand sanitisers and the maintaining of social distancing.
He lauded the critical stakeholders led by the former health minister, Isaac Adewole, the COVID-19 task force and health officers for their services to humanity.