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The Ogun State Government on Friday rescinded its earlier order of total lockdown for two weeks to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

It said now there would be a weekly “window of relaxation” for the residents throughout the period earmarked for the exercise.

Governor Dapo Abiodun made this known at a press conference held at his private residence in Iperu town.

He said another 14-day lockdown starts on Saturday, explaining that the window of relaxation covers between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. on some days.

“Ogun State residents will have a window of relaxation from the renewed 14-day lockdown in the State (that) will be Monday (20th April), Wednesday (22nd April) and Friday (24th April, 2020). The period of relaxation will be between the hours of 7am and 2pm on each of these days,” he said.

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“This means that citizens are expected to remain indoors tomorrow Saturday, April 18, 2020; Sunday, April 19, 2020; Tuesday, April 21, 2020 and Thursday, April 23rd, 2020 as period of the lockdown.”

“Let me also re-emphasise that while the window of relaxation is being observed, all interstate and international borders of our dear state will remain closed. As usual, all personnel on essential services will be given access to perform their duties. This window of relaxation of the lockdown will be reviewed from time to time.

“I enjoin our people to scrupulously spend the window periods to restock on food items and conduct essential businesses during the period of the extended lockdown. We must understand that we cannot afford to be complacent or lower our guards, even as we maintain this delicate balance between people’s welfare and healthcare.”

Clean bill of health

The governor said between Wednesday and Thursday this week, three additional individuals have been given clean bills of health and discharged from one of the isolation centres.

“This means that presently, we have only three active cases and they are being treated by our doctors and other healthcare workers in one of our isolation and treatment centres. As a government and people, we are thankful to God and the professionalism of our health workers,” he said.

Mr Abiodun said the government had strengthened its (contact) tracing process, adding that, so far, “we have identified 210 persons who had contacts with the positive cases, out of which 110 underwent the required 14 days quarantine period”.

“Only two of this number tested positive, the remaining 108 tested negative on completion of the quarantine period. 100 others are however still observing the quarantine period and are being observed and monitored by our specialist doctors and other healthcare workers.”

Palliatives

“It is noteworthy that the first phase of the distribution of our relief palliatives benefitted not less than 60,000 households. Approximately 300,000 individuals have been successfully completed (reached). We have learnt some lessons from that experience and these will guide the next phase that will benefit additional 80,000 households of about 400,000 individuals, comprising the elderly, the poor and vulnerable. This is an on-going process that will ultimately reach 500,000 households or three million individuals,” the governor said.

The governor noted that it is worrisome that at this critical time of a global pandemic, some individuals and groups would still play politics with lives of the people and public safety.

He said these unnamed persons did this “by concocting, fabricating and circulating misleading and mischievous stories and videos with sinister motive to undermine the efforts to flatten the curve of the coronavirus and the palliatives meant to cushion the effect of the lockdown on our people.”

“This is uncharitable and inhuman, to say the least. Going forward, such misinformation capable of inciting the public and causing breach of peace will be met with the full weight of the law. In the same vein, I have news for those who may want to take advantage of the current situation to perpetrate any form of crime or criminality. Ogun State has zero tolerance for crimes.”

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