Kunle Idowu, Abeokuta
Ogun state government late Thursday announced it would relax the total lockdown earlier imposed on the state as part of the measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic from Monday 1st of June, 2020.
The state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, who made the announcement while addressing newsmen on the efforts of his administration at fighting the spread of the deadly virus, said movement across the state will be allowed between Monday to Fridays, except weekends when the lockdown will be observed again.
Abiodun who explained that lifting of the lockdown across the state formed the phase II of the crusade against COVID-19 pandemic, declared that religious worship centers will remain shut pending when religious leaders in conjunction with the appropriate government committee would finalise guidelines for their reopening.
He further explained that for government to ease restriction placed on worship centers, religious leaders will have to show proofs of their readiness to adhere to the laid down rules on prevention of community spread of COVID-19 which included sitting arrangement plans and time restriction among others.
Emphasising that the ban on inter – state travels as announced by the federal government, as well as restrictions on gym centers, cinemas, saloon among others are still in force, the governor disclosed that the state’s Taskforce on COVID-19 will be monitoring activities at the banks to ensure that maximum number of customers allowed into the banking halls are not more than 15.
The governor explained that the new measure became necessary due to the fact that the total number of COVID-19 infection in the state withing the past one week has being on the increase according to the available statistics.
“We will always strike the right balance between the need for our people to pursue their economic activities whilst discharging our duties of safeguarding public health and safety.
“But between Thursday, 21st May and yesterday, Wednesday, 27th May, 2020 we recorded 59 new positive cases, an increase of 32 %, bringing the total number of positive cases to date to 242. Sadly, we regret the loss of three people, two of whom were confirmed positive after their death. This brings the total mortality to 9, as against 6 at the last briefing”.
“Therefore, in consideration of the need to increasingly allow economic activities and after consultations with stakeholders, and based on expert advice from medical scientists and data analysis, the second phase of the eased lockdown will commence on the first of June, as indicated last week”.
“All the existing guidelines to combat COVID-19 in the State remain in place. Specific guidelines to guide the operations of industries have been issued and must be fully complied with by all industries, as part of preparations for full operations”.
“The curfew from 8.00pm to 6.00am as directed by the President is still in place. Restrictions on Inter – state travel are also retained. Wearing of face masks in the public is still mandatory”.
“The “Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines for Workplaces in Ogun State to combat COVID-19” has been issued by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments. All industries in Ogun State are expected to comply with these guidelines”.
“A Task Force has been set up to conduct random spot checks on the premises of the industries, restaurants and other business enterprises to confirm compliance. I wish to reiterate and warn that violation of any of the guidelines will be treated as a threat to our collective well- being and will be met with appropriate penalties”.