James Sowole in Akure
Ondo State Government has ordered the mass production of face masks that would be distributed to the citizens for free to ensure the checking of spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, disclosed the action of the state yesterday at a news conference.
At the news conference, which was attended by security chiefs in the state and members of the inter-ministerial committee on COVID-19, Akeredolu announced that the first index case of the disease in the state has tested negative twice after treatment at the state Infectious Disease Hospital in Akure, the state capital.
The governor, who expressed delight on the status of the index case, said the second positive case has also tested negative once.
According to him, “What this means is that the first patient of the infection is now completely healed and free to go home; indeed he is free to resume his normal life in service to our country.
“He is a soldier, who is serving his father land, and was diagnosed with the infection upon returning to Nigeria from international assignment in India.
“Due to the two consecutive negative results and his stable clinical condition, the patient is hereby declared fit for discharge. This is in line with the standard COVID-19 patient discharge criteria.”
The governor also expressed delight that all the 22 other persons that have contact with the first index case have all tested negative for the virus.
Worried by increase in the number of the pandemic cases in the country, Akeredolu said all the six governors of Southwest region have adopted a joint additional protocol of control of the spread of the pandemic.
He said the governors have resolved on the immediate closure of all the entry points of the six states.
Akeredolu added that the governors also resolved on compulsory wearing of face masks by everyone coming out of their homes effective from April 24, 2020.
He said those involved in essential services or dealing in medicine, water and consumable items, particularly traders, should also wear face masks while outside plying their trade.
“Let me make a few clarifications about this. It simply means that the six states are cooperating to make sure that inter-state trafficking of goods and human beings are halted in order to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
“In simple terms, individuals who violate the interstate travel ban by attempting to cross the border of one state to the order in the South-western part of Nigeria will be arrested and liable to be prosecuted.
“Similarly, it will be a serious breach of the COVID-19 precautionary measure for any individual starting from April 24, 2020, not to wear the face mask while outside his/her house or out on the street or anywhere within the society.
“In order words, the moment you step out of your home to the streets of Ondo State, you must wear your face mask. The intention of this is to reduce contamination and infection and possibly avoid community transmission,” Akeredolu said.