By Rotimi Ojomoyela – Ado Ekiti
Concerned at the refusal of citizens of the state to adhere to the regulations put in place to control the spread of COVID-19, Ekiti state government on Wednesday warned on the possibility of community spread of the deadly pandemic.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mojisola Yaya-Kolade who raised the alarm said the fear stemmed from the startling and disturbing revelations from the 153 samples screened at the molecular laboratory opened on Monday, June 22, out of which 142 were negative, with 11 turning out positive.
Yaya-Kolade while giving an update on the Covid-19 situation in the state, at Governor’s office, yesterday, said a total of 505 samples have been taken and tested since March 19 when the state recorded the first patient.
Reeling out the statistics of work done at the Molecular laboratory, the Commissioner said: “Out of 246 samples taken, 153 results have already been screened, 142 were negative while 11 were positive.
“Our fear is the possibility of community spread in Ekiti because we could not trace all the contacts and the present statistics revealed that we had 7.189 percent, which was the highest in recent times”.
Yaya-Kolade, who stated that the real community testing has not started, but added that the recent percentage was high enough to inform the state to take caution and prepare for any eventuality.
The commissioner said: “Out of the 11 positive patients, eight are on admission at the isolation centre.
“Our people should endeavour to use sanitizers and handwashing soap. With the way things are going, nobody knows when this COVID 19 will end and occasional inexplicable death may happen and when it happens, we must report to any of the health facilities around us.
“Let all our people in the community allow the medical officers to take samples so that we can know the exact status of Ekiti and how best to prepare ahead”.
Lending his voice, the Head of COVID 19 Task Force in Ekiti, Prof. Bolaji Aluko, added that since March 19 when Ekiti had the first case, only 35 COVID 19 cases had been reported due to proactive actions taken by the government.
Aluko stated that owing to the suspicion that there could be a possible breakout of community spread of the disease, there was a need to tighten security at borders to checkmate incursions and influx of people from neighbouring states.
“We need to fortify our borders despite that, not all the cases we had had were through border incursion through the 17 border towns that we have in Ekiti.
“The guidelines for burial remain intact and night curfew still in operation. Our people must also observe social and physical distancing and comply with the rule that not more than 20 people should be present in any social gatherings.
“The fact that we fear community spread makes all the rules to be mandatorily obeyed. It is not only in Ado Ekiti but across the state”.
Aluko stated that the government is also planning to relocate some traders in the Ado Ekiti metropolis to Agric Olope Market, to decongest the neighbourhood markets at Okeyinmi, Irona, Adere, Awedele, and other areas, for strict adherence to social distancing rule.
The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Muyiwa Olumilua, clarified that the two major markets, Bisi and Oja Oba operating in the capital city remain closed.
He said the 35 cases that had been recorded were what some states are recording just in a day, saying this confirmed that the state has done well.in the management of the pandemic.