ABEOKUTA: Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has announced the postponement of the statewide lockdown till Friday, April 3, 2020, but insisted that the inter-state and international borders will remain closed.
Governor Abiodun made the disclosure on Monday, March 30, 2020 while commissioning a 128-beded Isolation Centre in Ikenne, Ikenne Local government area of the state, for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the state.
President Mohammadu Buhari had in a nationwide broadcast on Sunday, March 29, 2020 ordered the total lockdown of Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States starting from 11pm on Monday, March 30, 2020 to curtail the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus.
But the Governor said the postponement became imperative to enable the state finalise the mechanisms for the distribution of relief materials and food items ahead of the total lockdown.
The Governor said, “After consultation with the Presidency, the interstate and international borders will close tonight at 11.00pm as directed by the President.
“However, the total lockdown of the state will be effective from 11pm on Friday, 3rd April, 2020. This is to enable us finalise the mechanisms for the distribution of relief materials and food items ahead of the total lockdown”.
The Isolation centre was converted from one of the Model schools built by the immediate past administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun which was named after the Matriarch of the Awolowo dynasty, late Chief (Mrs.) Dideolu Awolowo.
Prince Abiodun also disclosed that the COVID-19 test conducted on him to ascertain his health status came back negative.
He added that it was imperative for him to undergo the test since he came back from the United Kingdom few weeks ago, saying that the commissioning was his first public appearance since he came back from UK.
The Governor also disclosed that the state had commenced the mass production of hand sanitisers, adding that over 100,000 bottles of sanitisers would soon be ready for distribution throughout the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.
Speaking on the level of preparedness of the state for the prevention of the spread of Coronavirus, Governor Abiodun said, “The capacity of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Team at both State and LGA levels has been strengthened. Twenty (20) Medical Officers of Health, Disease Surveillance and Notification Officers (DSNO) and their assistants, Health Educators, and Environmental Health Officers were trained from each of the 20 LGAs.”
“We have trained four hundred and twenty-six (426) health personnel in public, private and paramilitary health facilities (doctors, nurses, laboratorians, environmental health officers etc.) on COVID-19 Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC)
Eleven (11) Medical Laboratory Scientists have been trained on COVID-19 sample collection”, the Governor added.
Governor Abiodun disclosed that the state had scaled up over six Isolation centres scattered around the state for quick response to cases of Coronavirus in the state.
These facilities, he said are: “the purpose-built 21 bed isolation and treatment centre at Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu; 100 bed capacity General Hospital Iberekodo, Abeokuta, and this Isolation and Treatment Centre in Ikenne with 128 bed capacity.”
Others are: “a 30-bed facility donated by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and a 40 bed facility donated by Mr. Fola Adeola for isolation of suspected cases till they are confirmed”, adding that the 250-bed hospital in Abeokuta, the state capital would soon be ready for use.
The Governor said, “The state has also mapped the following health facilities that could be easily prepared and deployed in an unlikely event of the existing 300 bed spaces being exhausted. These include 523 Primary Health Care facilities, 42 secondary facilities, 3 tertiary facilities and 690 private health facilities with 7,082 health care workers (including 531 doctors and 2,206 nurses) across the 20 LGAs in the State.”
The Governor used opportunity of the occasion to thank well meaning Nigerians and indigenes of the state who had donated financially and materially to the fight against Coronavirus in the state.