By Gabriel Olawale
The leading aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Edo state, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has queried the directive of the state government asking all residents of the state to only leave their homes with the protection of face masks as part of efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
In a statement by his campaign organization, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu described the directive as ill-conceived and a portrayal of the government as out of touch with the people and happenings in the state.
He said: “We find it bemusing that in the same week the Edo State Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association, amongst other serious complaints, bemoaned a lack of face masks and other Personal Protective Equipment for health workers on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19 in the state, the state government is issuing a directive for all residents to acquire face masks as a condition to leave their homes.”
“If health workers who are in the most need of this item are complaining of non-availability, we wonder why the government, yet to address this grave concern, is ordering the residents, numbering in millions, to get the same.”
“Global realities and increased demand for face mask have combined to make the item both scarce and costly. This means that a greater number of our residents, including essential workers, unless provided for by the government, will not be able to access and afford it. This is especially so considering health agencies have discouraged the repeated usage of face masks for effectiveness and protection against the virus.”
“We encourage the state government to situate their policies and directives in these times in hard realities and avoid burdening the people with impossible tasks. Until it is able to provide this for everyone, the state government should focus on enforcing the stay-at-home directive as this remains the best way to slow the spread of the virus while efforts are on to care for affected victims and prevent an influx of infected persons into the state.”
Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu, however, commended the decision of the state government to distribute food items to communities within the state and advised that the proposed state-wide distribution of food and relief items by government should be fast, transparent in delivery to those in dire need without consideration for ethnic, religious or political affiliations.