BEING AN ADDRESS DELIVERED BY THE GOVERNOR OF ONDO STATE ARAKUNRIN OLUWAROTIMI O. AKEREDOLU, SAN ON THE LATEST SPIKE IN THE SPREAD OF COVID–19 IN ONDO STATE, ON MONDAY 15TH JUNE 2020, AT THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE GROUNDS, ALAGBAKA, AKURE.
Gentlemen of the Media,
- I feel sad to announce to you that our state recorded an unprecedented 30 new cases of Corona virus infection in the last one week. It is an occurrence which should not have happened if the necessary precautions were respected and obeyed. The indicators, the trends and patterns seen so far, seem to suggest that the difficult days are fast approaching.
- The point must be made again that until we take charge of the fight to stop the spread, the pandemic will continue to attack our daily lives and limit the freedom and prosperity which we are entitled to as civilised people.
- All the 30 cases recorded within last week ending yesterday are clear cases of community transmission. They are cases of the spread within our communities and within the state from persons to persons. They are cases of spread by people who have come into contact with those who had earlier been infected. It is the new trend, it is dangerous and harmful. It makes all of us vulnerable. The risk is high, the costs, too enormous to imagine, if not checked in good time. Our responsibilities also are not very few, considering the height of the stakes.
- It is very important to note that the spread is now in all the four corners of our state. It has found habitat in all the three senatorial districts. From the Northern district through the central to the southern district, the raw facts stare us in the face that as individuals and communities, our efforts are not enough to protect us and our loved ones. Indeed we are facing the consequences of neglect and self-denial.
- From what we have seen so far, the danger and threats are far from being over and the number of our citizens infected may soar higher unless something drastic is done. In all, Ondo state now has a total of 73 confirmed cases while the distribution of the cases in the local government areas is as follows : Akure South (35), Odigbo (8), Owo (3), Ose (3), Akure North (2), Ondo West (6), Okitipupa (11), Akoko South West, Akoko South East (1), Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo (1), Ifedore (2)]
The total cases on admission is currently 31
Total number of deaths – 9
Total discharged cases – 33.
- In all, a total of 880 samples have been collected for testing from 753 suspected cases in all the 18 LGAs.
- The cases of the 11 individuals infected in Okitipupa is perhaps worthy of mention. Of particular note here is the fact that seven of the cases are health workers, serving in a private clinic where one of the earlier cases reported for treatment, before being referred to UNIMEDTH in Ondo.
- The health workers had dedicated themselves to their jobs and got infected in the course of the treatment. We have since locked down the operations of the private hospital in Okitipupa where this happened while the seven seven health workers are currently under treatment.
- Gentlemen of the media, recall that in my last address, I emphasised the need for our communities to be active and own the campaign against this pandemic. Our current experiences have justified that call and further invigorate its need.
- As you know, Government has obeyed to the letters and carried out the full implementation of the basic national protocols of prevention and control by mobilising the enormous resources available to it. Though a large percentage of our people have shown reckless disregard and neglect to the regulations clearly set out, I wish to assure you still that as a responsible government, we will not be tired.
- We will continue to spend considerable time and energy in implementing the standard global measures of preventing the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to implement a guided regulation of our market, religious and other social activities. We will continue to deploy the mass media for citizen education, orientation and mobilisation.
- It is shocking that those who came into contact with the earlier confirmed cases are becoming a harvest of COVID – 19 infection. As at today, one of such customers to the infected seller of used fabrics at Oja Oba market in Akure has been traced, tested and found to be positive to COVID – 19.
- This is the reason I advised last week that all members of the public who had patronised the banned fairly used fabric and shoes stalls at Oja Oba market in Akure, where the original case was picked up, should, in their own interest and for the good of our state, present themselves to our health facilities for immediate testing and proper care, before it is too late. I again seize this opportunity to call on you all to please call on our toll-free numbers to get immediate help.
- I must not end this address without telling you a story of an excellent and ideal community response to COVID-19. It is the case of Ilara mokin the home of the Honourable Commissioner of Health and Chairman of state Inter-ministerial Committee on COVID-19.
- A man got infected in Lagos and died on his way home to Ilara- mokin. His family members, oblivious of the implications buried him immediately. But the Ilara -Mokin community, under the leadership of the traditional ruler, our commissioner for health, the elites and other critical stakeholders understood the risks, the threats and the possibilities. They simply adopted and domesticated the state Government’s standard protocols of control. They shut down their town and began immediate line tracing of all known contacts to the corpse.
- They promptly organised a town meeting, locked down market activities, church, mosque and other religious and social activities until further notice. Their objective was to save their own lives and to kick out COVID-19 from their community. It is the right thing to do and we will continue to support them to achieve the very best in this. Unlike many of our city centres, they are not keen to substitute wealth and ignorance for the survival and preservation of their community.
- And we wish to use this opportunity to thank the traditional ruler and the enter elite of Ilara-Mokin for their candour and sense of leadership.
- It is needless repeating the simple regulations and orders made by government to control the pandemic. It will only suffice to charge our Kabiyesis, community leaders and local stakeholders to emulate the good example of the Ilara – mokin community. They need to fold their sleeves and take control of the implementation of the response protocols. This is the only way out.
- I urge us to understand that there has to be healthy families and healthy people to have communities and then towns and city societies. There has to be healthy towns and villages to have healthy local government areas and a functional state. A case where majority of our people are sick and dying is a shame and a stain on our civilisation.
- The 30 cases we recorded in just one week is, to say the least, frightening, embarrassing and a serious message that the killer COVID – 19 is here with us. Indeed, it is at our doorsteps. We must take control by cooperating with the Government in the fight against the spread of the disease.
- As I said during my last address, the new Commissioner of Police and the State Special Task Force will do everything lawful to enforce all the regulations and Orders put in place by the state Government.
Thank you all and may God bless our state and nation.