The Governor of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, says 25 of the 127 people who returned to the state from Cote d’Ivoire recently are not indigenes of the state.
The governor said this on Sunday as he spoke on the steps the state government is taking to curb the spread of Coronavirus in the state.
Mr Oyetola, at a press briefing in Osogbo on Sunday, gave an update on the 127 returnees, 17 of whom have since tested positive for coronavirus.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that Osun recorded the first COVID-19 case on March 25. The case is a returnee from the United Kingdom (UK), who voluntarily submitted himself for testing and treatment.
Since then, the cases have increased to 20. Mr Oyetola said “the reason for the increased incidence of cases is known to you and members of the public.
“You will recall that last week, we received about 127 returnees from Ivory Coast, who came into the country through Ogun State border, where they were allowed entry and escorted by security officials from Ogun State to Osun.
“Upon their arrival in the state, as a proactive measure, we immediately quarantined them at an isolation centre in Ejigbo. We later discovered upon profiling that some of these returnees are indigenes and residents of other states such as Oyo, Lagos, Ogun, Imo, Edo, Delta and Abia among others.”
Mr Oyetola said of the 127 returnees, 17 tested positive for Coronavirus while 110 returned negative.
“As expected, the arrival of these 127 returnees to the State has generated concerns, insinuations and misinformation in the public sphere, including false stories of escape by some of the returnees and poor state of the isolation centre, despite our efforts to give timely update of the situation to the general public via state-wide broadcast, press releases and other communication channels.
“As we had earlier indicated in a press release, all the returnees who tested positive are intact at our facility and are undergoing adequate and proper treatment at our care centre and are all stable. We are hopeful that they will soon recover safely from the virus and rejoin their families.”
The governor said the 109 whose results came back negative have been released to join their families.
“Among them are: 11 to Oyo State, two are going to Lagos State, one to Ogun State, three each to Edo and Abia states, four to Delta State and one to Imo State, while 85 will remain here in Osun.
“They have been advised to observe all the prescribed safety and preventive measures and to call our helplines if they start to feel unwell,” the governor said.
Call for Federal Government Support
“The current number of index cases that the State of Osun has recorded was a domino effect of government’s responsiveness and proactive interception of what would have resulted in a national distress,” Mr Oyetola said.
“The effect of our intervention convinced us that we took the right decision, because if the returnees had been released into their various states, tracing them and their contacts would have been difficult and the implications would have been catastrophic for our state, those other states and indeed the entire nation.
“Considering our peculiar circumstance, there is the urgent need for the Federal Government to assist us in our efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
“Our call is predicated on the fact that some of the samples that were tested indicated high level of viral loads, suggesting a strong capability to infect massively if necessary measures are not taken.”
He said “what we have is not a case of community transmission, but of infection within a controlled group; one which we are actively and effectively addressing.
“As a way of cushioning the hardships accruing from the inevitable lockdown in the state, which we imposed during the course of the progressive surge in the number of confirmed index cases, we have constituted a 21-man Food and Relief committee, comprising eminent sons and daughters of Osun.”
He said the committee is working out strategy for delivering relief materials to the people. “We are determined to ensure that the relief packages get to the people who deserve them the most.
“We would like our people to know that Coronavirus is our common enemy. It poses a threat to our lives and livelihood. We therefore, appeal to our citizens and the general public to cooperate with us to tame this deadly virus. We put ourselves, our families and livelihood in jeopardy when we pander to ignorance and play politics with a life-snuffing virus.”
He urged the residents not to panic,” but to obey the orders of the government to stay at home and stay safe.”
The governor thanked “health officials, volunteers and security agencies who have been up and doing at personal costs during these trying times.”