Wole Adedeji, Ilorin
Offa town has been fully locked down on the orders of the Kwara State Government over reported poor handling of the Coronavirus situation.
The lockdown will be for 14 days in the first instance pending clarification that two COVID-19 index cases from the town, whose cases were wrongly handled, had not infected people beyond estimation.
Deputy governor of the state, Mr. Kayode Alabi, who announced the state government’s decision, late Tuesday, said government was compelled to effect a total shutdown of the ancient town.
He explained the move was to contain community transmission and save people’s lives saying, “this shutdown will become effective at 6:00p.m local time on Wednesday April 8”.
The deputy governor added, “This directive is pursuant to the Kwara State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020”.
He emphasised that the shutdown meant “total restriction on every vehicular movement into or from Offa.
“The exceptions to this directive are those contained in the recent address of Mr. President which granted access to vehicles transporting foodstuffs, poultry and pharmaceutical products.
“Any other movement, private or commercial is hereby banned for the next 14 days or until such a time the government is satisfied that our people are no longer at risk of mass infections arising from the two cases that have been traced to the town.
He warned that “any violators are liable to punishments outlined in the Kwara State Infectious Diseases (Emergency Prevention) Regulation 2020. Various security agencies, including the police and the Nigerian Navy, have been drafted to enforce this directive while His Royal Highness the Olofa of Offa has been fully briefed”.
The deputy governor also pleaded with people to “bear with us in this tough period. The human community is certain to come out of this pandemic stronger and better.
“The government calls for timely report of any suspicious case of COVID-19. Anyone with travel history to frontline states, the America or European countries and others in the last three weeks should please contact the Kwara State Technical Committee for relevant advisory”, he concluded.