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Osun bans all public gatherings over COVID-19 pandemic


The Osun state government has placed a ban on all gatherings that would bring together 50 or more persons in the same place as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Adegboyega Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan on Friday in Osogbo, said the ban takes immediate effect and until further notice.

It said the ban would affect all schools, churches, mosques, night clubs and sports arenas across the state.

The statement noted that the state government arrived at the decision after wide consultations with health professionals and stakeholders in the health sector.

It said the ban became necessary following the federal government’s directive to ensure precautionary measures were taken to prevent the spread of the disease.

The state government advised the citizenry not to panic, saying no coronavirus case has been recorded in the state so far.

According to the statement, government noted that the mere fact that few cases have been reported in its neighbouring states makes it imperative to act.

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“As at March 18, the total number of cases as announced by the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, stands at eight with one of the five recent cases confirmed on Wednesday in Ekiti state.

“Though we have not recorded any case of the deadly virus, as a responsible government, we must be prepared so that we are not taken by surprise.

“The coronavirus scourge is a complex public health emergency, the type the world had never seen. Therefore, to protect our dear state, our children, and our economy will require our collective response and sacrifice.

“Government at both state and local government levels will lead, but we will all need to do our bit to get through this bad patch.

“As a responsible and responsive government that places premium on the well-being of its people, we will protect our citizens from potential and actual threats.

“We also urge our people to dedicatedly observe the precautionary protocols of thorough washing of hands with soap and clean water and the use of hand sanitizers, observing social distance and avoiding large gatherings, and alerting the authority of any suspected case.

“Our technical action committee is working round the clock to beef up the state’s capacity for epidemiological control and management. We therefore, call on citizens not to give in to undue panic, ” the statement read in part.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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