Ekiti renew intensive campaign against COVID-19 Delta variant
……As Fayemi launches comprehensive response
By Kayode Fayemi
I salute your courage and resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic for the past eighteen months and thank you for your cooperation with government in our efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic in our state, and to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on our lives and economy.
You may recall that our state recorded our index case of COVID 19 on March 18, 2020, and the patient was treated and discharged on 31st March 2020.
Since then, we have deployed our containment strategy, ensured that those infected received the best of care, and carried out extensive enlightenment campaigns. Our efforts in these regards have resulted in relatively low infection and mortality rates, as well as very high rates of total recovery.
Today however, it is my duty to inform you that Ekiti State is experiencing an unwelcome increase in the number of Covid-19 confirmed positive cases. In the month of July, we recorded ninety-five (95) cases, and we have now recorded 71 cases in the first week of August. 71 cases in just 6 days.
We are obviously experiencing the third wave with more cases than we experienced in the second wave in March 2021.
Besides, with the introduction of the Delta strain of the Covid-19 virus in the country and the recent evidence of its community transmission as reported by NCDC, it is imperative for us as a State to enforce our existing Covid-19 regulations more strictly to safeguard the health of our people.
Accordingly, we are constrained to respond to this development with the following non-pharmaceutical control measures, which remain our best means of containing the pandemic in the state.
Previous ban on large gatherings of more than 50 persons except on approved worship days will now be fully enforced.
Social, political, or business gatherings must not exceed 50 persons and must comply with prevention protocols of 6-feet social distancing, face masks and hand washing.
Our religious gatherings in the state would be with temporary restrictions starting from Friday August 13, 2021, for Muslims and Sunday August 15, 2021, for Christians. All gatherings must be held in strict and full compliance with the regulations regarding worship centres which include social distancing of 6-feet between worshippers, hand washing and face masks.
In all instances, the standing taskforce will go round to assess the level of compliance and defaulters will be penalized.
Schools should be fumigated and kept safe for our students before reopening. I have also approved the sensitization and screening of teachers for Covid-19 upon resumption. All efforts to ensure safe school reopening will be put in place before school resumption.
MARKETS AND BUSINESSES*
While major markets and businesses remain open, the Covid-19 regulations must be put in place in such spaces. Street trading, makeshift stalls and open display of wares are to be done observing social distancing. Businesses must provide liquid soap and running water for hand washing while supermarkets should not have more than 10 persons at any time in their store.
Commercial transporters must comply with strict social distancing directives. Motorcycles (Okadas) can only carry one passenger, taxis not more than 3 passengers and tricycles not more than 2 passengers.
BANKS AND HOTELS*
I must commend our banks for their continuous adherence to the Covid-19 protocols and I wish to encourage them not to falter in ensuring the safety of their patrons. All hotels must ensure that they provide hand washing stands at their entrances and ensure their guests always wear facemasks.
A breakthrough in the fight against the virus was the introduction of the Covid-19 vaccination. About 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine was deployed to Ekiti State between March and June this year. In the coming weeks, the State will receive an additional 95,000 doses of Moderna vaccine from the Federal Government for the second phase.
Evidence has shown that fully vaccinated individuals are protected from severe Covid-19 infection and death. Vaccines have been confirmed to be safe, and 70,049 people have received at least 1 dose of the vaccine in the state, without any side effect.
As we await the second phase of the vaccination, I encourage all eligible citizens to take their jabs as soon as the vaccines are available.
Ekiti Kete, as we enter another phase in the fight against this virus and with the transmission of the dreaded Delta variant in-country, there is, even now, a greater demand on all of us to take personal responsibility.
I have directed the Ministry of Health and Human Services to send positive samples from our State for sequencing, to ensure we are fully aware of what we are dealing with.
While government will not shirk its responsibility of ensuring the lives of the people are protected, we cannot afford to be complacent or fatalistic about the pandemic.
Residents are advised to take personal responsibility for their protection while going about their daily duties, by observing preventive measures of washing of hands frequently with soap under running water, wearing face masks, and maintaining social distancing.
We must never trivialise the danger that COVID-19 continues to pose to us.
We must ensure we do not have a reversal of fortune. We cannot afford a community infection that could easily overwhelm our capacity and return us to another round of stay-at-home with even more stringent measures.
As I conclude, I would like to express my immense appreciation to our frontline medical personnel, taskforce team, security agents and the public for their gallant and untiring effort in curtailing the spread of the virus.
Thank you all for keeping faith. May we all see the end of this COVID-19 pandemic.
Together we can fight and win the deadly virus.
Long Live Ekiti State
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Ekiti a gbe a o.