COVID-19: Oyo ready for post #EndSARS Protest upsurge

Oyo State government has assured that it is adequately prepared to combat like upsurge in the number of COVID-19 cases in the state.

Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashir Bello gave the assurance while fielding questions from journalists during a one-day sensitization programme for journalists in the State, as parts the effort to enlighten the media practitioners on ways they could further contribute to efforts at stemming the spread of coronavirus disease in Oyo State.

The meeting, facilitated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), a German organization, GIZ and Oyo State Risk Communication Community Engagement (RCCE) held at Kakanfo Inn, Ibadan, to sensitise media practitioners about the state of the virus, the myths and rumours around it and the expected inputs of news reporters.

According to the Commissioner, the state wouldn’t have insisted on the enforcement of all the COVID-19 and NCDC protocols during the recent EndSARS protests across the state as such a move could be misinterpreted as government move against the people.

He added that, the approach of the government since the virus broke has been putting in place permanent isolation and treatment centres instead of temporary structures across the state.

Bello said “All the flouting of the Covid-19 and NCDC protocols will only manifest weeks after the EndSARS protest subsided.

“If anyone had to push that, it might be termed as an antagonistic attack against the demonstrators and could be misconstrued as government-sponsored because the people are now suspicious of the government. So, if we try to make any enforcement, it will be mistaken as government sponsors.”

On plans to tackle likely upsurge post #EndSARS protest, the Commissioner said “We are never at any time relaxed about the fight against the virus.

“Let me bring you back to our initial steps when this Covid-19 started, Governor Seyi Makinde, who is also the state Chairman of the Covid-19 Task Force, said we are not just going to prepare temporary structures that would be removed after the pandemic.

“What we have on the ground are permanent Covid-19 treatment and isolation centres.

“So, we have in all the centres in all the geographical and zonal areas including Saki (to take care of Oke Ogun area), we have for Ibarapa areas and we have the one at Lautech Teaching Hospital to take care of Ogbomosho axis.

“So, it is quite evident that we will seriously have to control any upsurge, we are already prepared.”

(The Nation)

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