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Coronavirus: South West governors shut borders

L-R: Chairman, South West Governor’s Forum and Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu; his Counterparts from Osun, Ogun, Lagos, Ekiti and Oyo States, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola; Prince Dapo Abiodun; Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Mr. Seyi Makinde

Governors of the South West states agreed on Friday to shut all entry points to the region as part of the strategy to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the zone.

This was as the nation recorded 51 new cases yesterday to bring the total confirmed cases to 493.

Wearing of face mask is also now compulsory for all residents of the six states in the zone, namely Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo, according to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State.

Oyo State, where the number of confirmed cases reached 15 last night, decided on its own to produce one million face masks in the war against the pandemic.

Akeredolu, Chairman of the South West Governors’ Forum, said in a statement in Akure that he and his colleagues took the decisions during a virtual meeting Friday.

The entry points to the region will be “closed forthwith,” he said.

The governor added: “The state governors agreed that people involved in essential services or dealing in medicine, water and consumable items, in particular traders and market men/women, should endeavour to wear nose masks while outside plying their trade to minimize the spread of the deadly virus.

“The governors further agreed that wearing of nose masks will be made compulsory for everybody coming out of their homes effective from Friday, 24 April, 2020 in their respective states.”

Besides, the governors agreed to dissolve the Board of Directors of ODUA Investment Limited with immediate effect.

The Group Managing Director is to take charge of the conglomerate affairs pending the constitution of a new board.

Also on Friday, the Oyo State Government announced plans to provide one million face masks for residents of the state.

It also shifted the resumption date of civil servants from April 20 to April 27.

Governor Seyi Makinde, who tweeted the plans last night, emphasised that wearing of masks would become mandatory at public gatherings in the state once they are provided.

The state government had earlier in the month scheduled resumption of civil servants for April 20.

To ensure their safety, it had decontaminated the state secretariat earlier this week but changed the resumption date on Friday obviously for greater safety of the workers and other residents of the state.

The workers were sent on two-week compulsory leave which would have ended tomorrow.

With two new cases of COVID-19 confirmed on Friday, the state now has a total of 15.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) last night confirmed 51 new cases in the country to bring the total to 493.

They are 32 in Lagos; six in Kano; five in Kwara; two in the FCT; two in Oyo; two in Katsina; one in Ogun and one in Ekiti.

Lagos and Ogun States along with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been on lockdown for the third week running following the detection of the index case, an Italian consultant, on February 27 in Ogun State.

He had passed through Lagos on arrival in Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari declared that the two states and the FCT should be locked down for an initial two weeks.

He extended the lockdown period by two weeks last Sunday.

Coronavirus has since spread to all the South West states.

As at last night, Lagos had 283 cases; Osun 20; Oyo 15; Ogun 10; Ondo 3 and Ekiti 3.

Overall, coronavirus has claimed 17 deaths in the country while 159 patients have been discharged.

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