Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State has announced that the total lockdown of the state, which was scheduled to commence on Monday (yesterday) by 11pm has been shifted to Friday.
Abiodun made the announcement at the commissioning of the 128-bed Isolation Centre located at the HID Awolowo Model College, Ikenne in Ikenne Local Government Area the state.
The governor, however, stressed that the ban on inter states and international borders would commence by 11pm on Monday as scheduled.
He said the postponement, which followed a consultation with and approval from President Muhammadu Buhari, was to enable the state and the masses to prepare for the lockdown.
He said: “After consultation with the Presidency, the interstate and international borders will close tonight at 11pm as directed by the President.
“The total lockdown of Ogun will, however, be effective from 11pm on Friday.
“This is to enable us finalise the mechanisms for the distribution of relief materials and food items ahead of the total lockdown.
“We appeal to our people to abide by these government orders and the advice provided by the Ministry of Health on hand and respiratory hygiene as well as social distancing.
“Our government is conscious of the implications and discomfort associated with these measures.
“Nonetheless, we are constrained to do this because the available options are limited because failure to take these measures would have dire consequences.
“Coronavirus has upturned people’s lives and destinies and we have to fight with everything that we have, including stepping down our individual preferences and freedoms.
“These restrictions will be kept under constant review and we will relax them if the evidence makes it compelling.
“The restrictions are without prejudice to the need for people to reasonably move within their neighbourhoods to buy essentials such as food, drugs and access healthcare as contained in Regulation 8 of Ogun Coronavirus Disease (Emergency Prevention) Regulations 2020.”
Abiodun explained that food items and other palliatives would be provided in the next few days to cushion the effect of the lockdown on the citizens.
He said: “The government is working out the modalities and engaging relevant stakeholders to particularly identify the poor and vulnerable groups and to ensure that the palliative and relief items reach the intended beneficiaries at the grassroots.
“During the period of this lockdown, all markets, motor parks, public squares and high human-traffic areas will be fumigated and disinfected.”
The governor also announced other plans by the state government to check the spread, isolate and treat any positive case of coronavirus in the state.
He said: “In this trying time, arrangements are at an advanced stage to establish our own biomedical laboratory so that we can test suspected cases in the state without going to Lagos or Abuja.
“This laboratory, which will be in place by this weekend, will minimise the test turn-around time which currently is between three to five days and fast-track the treatment of positive cases.
“It will also reduce period of apprehension and anxiety for those suspected of infection and their relations.
“In furtherance of the earlier directive requiring not more than 20 per cent of the state’s workforce to be at work, government now directs that all public servants in Ogun should work from home except those on essential services.
“The government hereby appeals to all retired health workers, those in the private sector and volunteers to come forward and make their services available to complement the efforts of our core medical and paramedical personnel.”