…Govt Partners Army, UCH, NCDC For Proactive Steps

The Oyo State government on Friday has debunked insinuation of the presence of the dreaded Coronavirus in the state as two suspected cases in the state have tested negative.

According to the government, the two suspected cases, did not even test positive to any of either corona virus or Lassa fever; however, the suspects, who were earlier quarantined, are improving heath wise.

This is just as the state government disclosed that it is on high alert, following the confirmed case in neighbouring Lagos State.

Speaking through the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Bashir Bello, at a press conference to update the media on the efforts of the government at ensuring that the virus did not enter into the state, the state government said press conference became imperative in view of the proximity of Lagos to Ibadan, adding that the state had deployed adequate resources to its facilities in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Bello stressed that no case of the coronavirus or Lassa fever virus had been reported in the state, adding that the state has however, enlisted the support and collaboration of the Nigerian Army through the 2 Division, Ojoo, where a quarantine facility had been set up in case of any reported case or outbreak.

The commissioner also noted that all state health facilities had been put on high alert, even as he enjoined private based health facilities to also have a high index of suspicion for all cases of unexplainable fever and upper respiratory infections.

Dr Bello also implored residents of the state to prioritise hygienic practices of regular hand washing with soap and water and ensure that anyone with fever is promptly taken for medical attention.

The commissioner also urged residents to reduce frequency of face touching, regularly disinfect surfaces and keep social distance with anyone sneezing or coughing.

He said, “As for the suspected case, the person is now improving. We know that a case will have to be taken into study and it was discovered that it is nothing related to either Coronavirus or Lassa virus.

“What we saw at Oyo was nothing near Lassa or Coronavirus. We are ready, as we don’t know who would have travelled in and out of Ibadan.

“For the least symptoms of respiratory distress, we give them that maximum attention and we treat it like a case. A single case is considered an epidemic. That is why with the single case in Lagos, all other neighbouring states are on high alert.

“What we are trying to do is that going by our proximity to Lagos and the high level of transaction between these two urban centres, we are being very prepared because no one can tell.

“There is freedom of movement enshrined in the constitution and we cannot, for this reason, restrict movement of individuals. I wish to reassure the people of the state that there is currently no outbreak of Coronavirus in the state.”

On his part, the Chairman, UCH Committee on Response to Emergency and Outbreak of Disease, Prof. Kayode Osungbade, noted that from the caliber of people at the press conference, the state is prepared to tackle the virus, as all stakeholders have continued to come together and especially because a case has been confirmed in Nigeria, which necessitated the press conference.

Osungbade added that with the presence of all the stakeholders at the conference, including the military, the state government, the UCH, private facilities, officials of Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, among others, is indicative of the readiness and commitment of the relevant stakeholders to tackle the challenge any outbreak.


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