GOVERNOR Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has ordered the mass production of face masks to be distributed to the citizens for free as part of his plan to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
So far, Ondo State has not had any coronavirus casualties as all of the affected people have recovered and to keep things this way, the government is looking to introduce the widespread use of facemasks. Yesterday, at a meeting with security chiefs and members of the inter-ministerial committee on Covid-19, Governor Akeredolu revealed that the first index case in the state has tested negative twice after treatment at the state Infectious Disease Hospital in Akure, the state capital.
Expressing delight on the status of the index case, the governor added that the second positive case has also tested negative once. In addition, the governor revealed that all the 22 other persons that have contact with the first index case have all tested negative for the virus.
Governor Akeredolu said: “What this means is that the first patient of the infection is now completely healed and free to go home. Indeed he is free to resume his normal life in service to our country.
“He is a soldier, who is serving his father land and was diagnosed with the infection upon returning to Nigeria from international assignment in India. Due to the two consecutive negative results and his stable clinical condition, the patient is hereby declared fit for discharge, which is in line with the standard Covid-19 patient discharge criteria.”
Worried by increase in the number of the pandemic cases in the country, Governor Akeredolu said all the six governors of southwest geo-political zone have adopted a joint additional protocol of control. He added that the governors have resolved to close all the entry points into the six states and called for the compulsory wearing of face masks by everyone coming out of their homes with effect from April 24.
According to the governor, those involved in essential services or dealing in medicine, water and consumable items, particularly traders, should also wear face masks while outside plying their trade. As a result, he called for the mass production of the masks across the state, also, no details were given on who would be contracted to manufacture the products.
Governor Akeredolu added: “Let me make a few clarifications about this. It simply means that the six states are cooperating to make sure that inter-state trafficking of goods and human beings are halted in order to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
“In simple terms, individuals who violate the inter-state travel ban by attempting to cross the border of one state to the order in the south-western part of Nigeria will be arrested and liable to be prosecuted. Similarly, it will be a serious breach of the Covid-19 precautionary measure for any individual starting from April 24, 2020, not to wear the face mask while outside his/her house or out on the street or anywhere within the society.
“In other words, the moment you step out of your home to the streets of Ondo State, you must wear your face mask. The intention of this is to reduce contamination and infection and possibly avoid community transmission.”