We Must Do More To Prevent An Outbreak In Ekiti State

March 30, 2020
187 Views

Text
of the Address by

His
Excellency

Dr.
Kayode Fayemi,
CON

Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria

on the occasion
of the address titled:

at

Government House,
Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State

on

Sunday,
March 29, 2020

Ekiti-kete,

  1. On
    Friday, March 20th 2020, I addressed you on the global scourge of
    the novel coronavirus named COVID-19 and its presence in Ekiti State as well as
    on the immediate actions we were taking to prevent the virus and curtail its
    spread.
  2. I am
    glad to report that as at this morning, Ekiti State has not recorded any
    additional case of confirmed coronavirus patient while our single patient is
    doing very well in our isolation center, still without showing any symptom. We
    are hopeful that his repeat test will come back negative so he can be
    discharged soon.
  3. I
    also want to acknowledge the patriotic residents who have acted responsibly in
    public interest by complying with the initial guidelines issued in my broadcast
    as part of our strategy to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Ekiti State.
    However, it is very disappointing that some of us have either been lukewarm, nonchalant or downright defiant
    in observing the simple but extremely effective preventive actions of hand
    washing with soap under running water, coughing into the inner elbow and
    maintaining social distancing to protect themselves from infection and curtail
    the spread of the virus in their communities.
  4. While
    I acknowledge our resilient nature, incurable optimism and spiritual activism
    as a people, it is critical that we balance these with
    pragmatic and urgent actions that can ensure the safety of lives for our
    families and communities. Unlike any other infection, the COVID-19 strain of
    coronavirus is a type the world has never seen, so there is no verified cure or
    medication to manage the effects of an infection. The only proven means of
    defeating this lethal enemy of the human race is PREVENTION. And these
    preventive steps must be taken individually and collectively for it to be
    effective.
  5. With
    the devastating impact this virus is having on more developed countries like
    the United States, United Kingdom, China, Italy, Spain and over 140 countries
    across the world, it is very clear to us that Nigeria, and especially Ekiti
    State, cannot afford a breakout of this virus on a large scale as we do not
    have the resources, human and financial, to cope with a surge in positive cases
    of the coronavirus infection.
  6. If we
    do not take steps necessary to contain this virus, it has the potential to
    overwhelm our health infrastructure, cripple our economy and devastate Ekiti
    State in unimaginable proportions. As you are aware, the State is under
    significant financial constraints especially as a direct
    consequence of the impact of the coronavirus on the global economy and the
    price of crude oil that has gone down considerably. So, we cannot afford a
    public health crisis.
  7. It is
    in urgent public interest that we must ensure strict compliance with all
    directives given to prevent community spreading of the disease. Therefore, in
    our collective interest and to further ensure the safety of Ekiti-kete, having declared Coronavirus
    (COVID- 19) an infectious disease in Ekiti State, I hereby, in pursuant to
    Section 8 of the Quarantine Act, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and the
    Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) impose a
    curfew of movement in Ekiti State.
  8. The purpose of this curfew is to impose
    restrictions on the movement of persons and goods within Ekiti State for an
    initial period of fourteen days. This is in order to prevent the spread of
    Coronavirus in Ekiti State.
  9. Therefore, effective
    from 23H59 (11:59pm) on Monday, March 30, 2020 until 23H59 (11:59pm) on Monday,
    April 13, 2020, there shall be restriction of movement across the length and
    breadth of Ekiti State, with all our borders closed. That is a full and
    total shut down of Ekiti State, and a 12-hour dusk to dawn curfew in Ekiti
    State from 7:00pm – 7:00 am. All Ekiti residents are hereby directed to STAY –
    AT – HOME.
  10. We
    are implementing the Quarantine Act to keep all Ekiti residents safe. So let me
    be clear. If you do not go home or stay home for at least fourteen (14) days as
    from Monday, 30 March, 2020, you could face serious fines or prison term.
  11. RESTRICTED
    MOVEMENT: During this period, movement between local
    governments is prohibited; movement between towns, villages and communities is
    also prohibited; every person shall
    be confined to the place where he or she ordinarily resides in Ekiti State.       
  12. EXCEPTIONAL
    MOVEMENTS: Those who are performing essential services will be allowed to move
    around, particularly health workers, but must be duly designated with an
    identity card by the Head of their Institutions. Individuals and institutions providing the following services shall be
    exempted from the restrictions:
  13. Members of the Executive,
    Legislature and the Judiciary;

ii.  Production, distr  ibution and marketing of food and beverages,

      pharmaceuticals, medicine, paper and
plastic packages

iii. Environmental and
sanitation activities

iv. Staff of electricity,
water, telecommunications, e-commerce

      and 
digital service providers;

v.  Members of security agencies assigned on
lawful duties;

vi. Staff of Banks and
similar financial institutins;

vii.

 Staff of fuel stations.

  1. MARKETS
    / BUSINESSES CLOSED: All businesses and other entities shall cease
    operations during this period except those involved in the provision of
    essential goods or services. Markets, retail shops and shopping malls must be
    closed, except where essential goods are sold and with
    strict hygienic conditions to prevent the exposure of persons to COVID-19.
  2. PROHIBITED
    GATHERINGS: Religious gatherings e.g. worship and
    prayer services, night vigils, house fellowships and NASFAT meetings; Social
    gatherings e.g. Funerals, weddings, family meetings and parties of any kind in
    night clubs, bars, beer joints; and Political gatherings, e.g. rallies,
    congresses, ward meetings. All of these are prohibited activities under these
    regulations.
  3. EXCEPTIONAL
    GATHERING: Only gathering in
    respect of funeral will be allowed but the attendance shall be limited to 20
    persons with no night vigil or party.
  4. CLOSURE
    OF BOUNDARIES: All boundaries of
    Ekiti State are closed during this period, except for transportation of fuel,
    food and drugs and other essential goods. All non-residents who arrive the
    State prior to, or after, the imposition of this restriction, and who
    remain in the State, must remain in their place of temporary residence in
    the State for the duration of the 14 days, as the case may be, and may be
    subjected to screening for COVID-19 and be quarantined or isolated if
    necessary.
  5. PROHIBITION
    OF PUBLIC TRANSPORT: All commuter
    transport services including bus services, taxi services, motor bikes (Okada)
    and tricycle services (Keke), is prohibited; except those for purposes of
    rendering essential services, obtaining essential goods, seeking medical
    attention, funeral services and to receive payment of social grants or
    food: Provided that such vehicle carries not more than 50% of the licensed
    capacity and all directions in respect of hygienic conditions and
    the limitation of exposure of persons to COVID-19, are adhered to.
  6. PENALTIES: Any person who contravenes these
    regulations shall be guilty of an offence and, on conviction, liable to a
    fine or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months or to both such
    fine and imprisonment.
  7. Ekitikete, this administration is fully aware of the
    inconvenience these directives will have on our daily lives and livelihoods but
    it is the sacrifice we must all make to remain healthy and alive. To make this
    a little easier for us all, I hereby announce the following palliative measures
    especially for our high risk and vulnerable citizens.

    1. March
      salaries have been paid last Thursday, 26th March so that civil and
      public servants can stock up on food and essential items necessary for the Stay-At-Home period. This was despite the
      fact that the FAAC disbursement for March was significantly lower than our
      salaries and many other states have found it difficult to pay March salaries.
      We are however hopeful that subsequent months
      will not fail, though the implications of the global economy are not very
      encouraging as IMF formally announced that the world is now in recession due to
      the coronavirus pandemic.
    1. I
      have directed that the Ekiti State Food Bank be reactivated immediately to
      provide food items to the poor and vulnerable families in our communities. The
      Task Force will announce the modalities as soon as the process is fully
      activated.
    1. The
      State Government will consider providing a stipend to our  self-employed citizens whose daily income
      will be interrupted at this time as subsidy for their loss of income. I have
      directed the Commissioners of Finance and Budget to advise on the amount the
      State can afford in view of our dire financial constraints.
    1. We
      shall commence the disinfecting of major public places like markets, bus stops,
      motor parks, health facilities, and all likely places where the virus may be
      lurking across our State. Already, a massive cleanup and disinfection is
      ongoing in some locations in Ado Ekiti e.g. Atikankan, Irona and Oja Oba areas
      and I am aware some Local Government Chairmen are already taking initiatives to
      dredge and clear drains within their jurisdictions.
    1. Massive
      advocacy and sensitization is ongoing to advise you on the necessary preventive
      measures and how to identify and manage the symptoms of COVID-19 as well as
      what to do when you notice symptoms of fever, coughing, diarrhea or difficult
      breathing. Please remember that anyone can carry the coronavirus even if they
      do not have any of these symptoms; that is why you must wash your hands
      regularly and abstain from bodily contact at this time
    1. To
      protect our senior citizens who have been proven to be most vulnerable to this
      deadly virus please do not visit your elderly parents or family at this time to
      prevent the risk of infecting them. If they live with you, please keep them
      separate as much as possible. Do not let them share common household items like
      plates, spoons, towels, soaps at this period. We must keep them safe and
      healthy as much as we can.
  8. Ekitikete, it is necessary to let you know that though
    this virus is deadly, a positive result is not a death sentence. Anyone showing
    symptoms is most likely going to get better but may be very sick for some time,
    depending on the capacity of his/her body to fight the infection. Instead of
    stigmatizing anyone with symptoms, they should be cared for in accordance with
    medical advisory while the caregivers must ensure they protect themselves from
    being infected. Please call the Emergency Number 112 or 09062970434,
    09062970435 and 09062970436 if anyone around you is showing symptoms, but
    first, isolate them from the rest of the family.
  9. I have also directed the Ministry of Health to begin the
    process of establishing a second isolation center in Ado Ekiti. We currently
    have a 10-bed Isolation Center but we must begin to increase our capacity up to
    100 beds with necessary medical equipment required to manage suffering
    patients. We have also ordered more PPE for our medical personnel to protect
    them from infection while caring for the sick.
  10. This war against the coronavirus COVID-19 is a global one.
    Nigeria is just joining this global battle and we are doing everything possible
    nationally and at state levels to protect our citizens from this deadly virus.
    However, a time like this calls for better coordination among all stakeholders
    – Federal, State, development partners and private sector in order to stem the
    tide of this pandemic. One area that States have been speaking with one voice
    is the importance of ramping up on testing. The World Health Organisation (WHO)
    advisory is to test, test and test. We need the Federal Government to
    accelerate the establishment of more testing centres whilst  at the same time allowing testing to be done
    by private laboratories and also give approval for the use of quick test-kits
    as a way of halting  community spread of
    the virus.
  11. Another key request of States is that the Federal
    Government enable a joined-up strategy for addressing the economic implications
    of the pandemic by providing stimulus for those likely to be affected by loss
    of income and to States and Local Governments directly hit by the impact of the
    measures taken.
  12. This is a very expensive battle, especially for us in
    Ekiti State, where we can barely meet our regular obligations. I have therefore
    been holding meetings with development partners, philanthropic bodies and
    federal agencies to assist us in preventing an outbreak in Ekiti State by
    providing access to some of the support available nationally. We have also set
    up an Ekiti State COVID-19 PANDEMIC SUPPORT ACCOUNT with UBA Current Account
    Number 1022752067 for donations towards our efforts in this regard.
  13. I want to thank all our citizens and political leaders who
    are providing hand sanitizers and information leaflets to their constituents as
    a way to sensitize and educate them on this virus. We encourage everyone to do
    all they can to ensure awareness, compliance and prevention in every farmstead
    and community in Ekiti State. While the state government will continue to do
    all we can, every family, community, kingdom and local government must also
    take responsibility for their area of jurisdiction. All hands must be on deck
    to defeat coronavirus in Ekiti State. It must be our collective responsibility.
  14. Ekiti-kete,
    this indeed is a trying period, not only for our State or Nation, but for the
    whole world. I therefore plead for your understanding and tolerance as we
    jointly fight and defeat this monster, COVID-19.
  15. As a government,
    to save the lives of Ekiti-kete is our topmost priority. Hence, it is my plea
    to you to continue staying wherever you are now within Ekiti State.
  16. The
    coming days are definitely going to be unusual and somewhat unpleasant, but if
    this is what it takes to ensure our collective safety, I urge you all to
    cooperate with the government and make the sacrifice.
  17. The
    measures we are taking now have been taken by more advanced and technically
    prepared government, all in the quest to curtail the spread of coronavirus and
    protect the life of the citizenry.
  18. Coronavirus is
    not a respecter of persons, many highly placed persons have been infected all
    over the world, including in Nigeria. If you or anyone has been in contact with
    anyone who just arrived from abroad in the past 7 days, please call the
    emergency numbers immediately.
  19. You will recall
    that I also went into self-isolation after I submitted myself to be tested for
    coronavirus. I thank you most sincerely for your concern and prayers, while I
    waited for my result which eventually came out negative.
  20. I must confess
    that the period of waiting for the result of my test was a difficult moment for
    me. As a responsible leader, my thought was not about my result, but about
    people around me and those I have made contact with. The palpable fear of
    someone being infected through me was more tormenting than my own personal
    wellbeing.
  21. On this note, I
    implore you to let us take responsibility for our life and the lives of those
    around us. All the helplines already given out are active and will respond in
    case of an emergency.
  22. The Taskforce
    will continue to update you on the efforts we are taking to curtail the spread
    of this virus as earlier announced. Please avoid spreading rumors or
    unauthorized medical tips. There are no known cure for COVID-19 globally yet so
    please do not endanger your life by taking any concoction that will harm you
    out of fear.
  23. Ekitikete, this is not the time to be fearful or
    panic stricken. COVID-19 is not a death sentence. We are not helpless against
    it if we are resolved to prevent it. Keep all the preventive measures, stay at
    home and maintain social distancing. Government is determined to ensure we stop
    its spread. You also must be determined to do your part.
  24. Once again, I
    plead for your usual support and understanding, and pray that at the end of it
    all, we will have cause to rejoice and congratulate ourselves for taking
    necessary precautions.
  25. Alale Ekiti a ja ko a o!

Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON

Governor

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