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Updates on the COVID-19 Ekiti State Response

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Text of the State Address on COVID-19 Response (6) by His Excellency, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON, Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria.
Updates on the COVID-19 Ekiti State Response Ado-Ekiti on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

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Updates on the COVID-19 Ekiti State Response

  1. 1. Text of the State Address on COVID-19 Response (6) By His Excellency Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria Updates on the COVID-19 Ekiti State Response Ado-Ekiti – Sunday, May 31, 2020. Ekiti Kete, 1. It is my pleasure to address you again on the state of things in respect of our collective fight against COVID-19 pandemic. You would recall that our state has been proactive in this fight because of our appreciation of the enormous catastrophe that a wide break out of the infection could cause in our State. 2. Right from the outset of this pandemic in Nigeria, Ekiti has been in the forefront of the fight against the virus. We set up the State Task Force on COVID-19 on March 2, 2020 as the first State to do so in the federation; we were also the first to announce comprehensive restrictions amongst other initiatives which began on March 30, 2020 and ended on April 13, 2020. Thereafter, we extended the restriction by another two weeks which ended on April 30, 2020. 3. About four weeks ago, in compliance with the national strategy to contain the disease and to ensure that nothing was left to chance, we further adopted a total lockdown with a window of movement allowed in three days of the week. We have adopted these extreme measures to ensure Ekiti people were not in danger, as there were no better alternatives to mitigate the potential havoc that a community spread could bring about. 4. In response to the challenges faced by the vulnerable segment of the society which depends on daily income to make a living, our government has distributed palliatives to thousands of households to cushion the economic effect that the lockdown must have caused them. It is something of pride to note that our template of palliative distribution has been widely adjudged the best and
  2. 2. Page 2 of 5 commended for its inclusive and transparent delivery to households. All of these, we have done to ease the pains that Ekiti people have borne while the fight against this virus lasts. 5. As a government, we are well acquainted with your pain, sacrifices and losses. We cannot quantify the cost of this pandemic on you as individuals and government as a whole. The cost on government, business owners, families, individuals, religious organisations, schools and other aspects of life has been huge. But, these costs are the cheapest sacrifices available for us as a people as the alternative could have been devastating. 6. I therefore want to appreciate our religious leaders, private school owners, market men and women, artisans and students for your sacrifices, cooperation and support thus far. 7. As I had indicated in my last broadcast, that government would continue to monitor progress and act promptly to exigencies as they occur, I am glad to bring you up to date about the journey so far and to keep you abreast of the next turn in this enduring journey. Since we declared this second wave of lockdown a month ago, partly, in consonance with national strategy to ban inter-state movement, we have made some appreciable progress which now makes a review of the existing regulations necessary. 8. As at today, Ekiti has recorded 20 cases in all, 16 of these people have been successfully treated and discharged. We have only two active cases left in our treatment and isolation centre. Unfortunately, we have lost two of the cases. So far, we have done about 300 contact tracing and tested well over 200 people. 9. As part of efforts to ramp up our testing for the virus, I will be commissioning the Mobile Molecular Testing laboratory procured by the COVID-19 Resource Mobilisation Committee headed by Chief Julius Adeluyi-Adelusi, tomorrow June 1, 2020. Test samples will be randomly and voluntarily collected from local government to local government and community to community. We must give them maximum support as our experts have devised a modality for this exercise. 10. Testing is not injurious to anyone and it does no any harm to those being tested. It does not also suggest that those tested already have the virus or that they are suspected. The random test is part of the global and national strategy to be sure that we do not have community infection that have not been discovered. You would recall that I had had to take the test at the outbreak of the virus in Nigeria.
  3. 3. Page 3 of 5 Thankfully, the test came out negative and I have been at peace with myself ever since. It is therefore nothing to be apprehensive about. 11. Once the report of the random testing shows that we are safe generally, it would further give fillip to our confidence to fully open up our state and return to our normal way of life. I therefore urge you to willingly submit yourselves for testing when the officials get to your neighbourhood. This also provides an opportunity for those who might have had symptoms associated with COVID-19 to freely come out for testing at no cost to them. 12. Ekiti Kete, based on the advice of the professionals and the general risk appraisal of the state and the nation at large, government has, in the meantime, decided to review the current measures and to further ease the restrictions as follow: i. Commencing from tomorrow, June 1, 2020, Ekiti people will now be able to go about their daily activities from Monday to Friday, 6 am to 8 pm in the evening. For the avoidance of doubt, the dusk to dawn curfew will daily resume at 8 pm till 5: 59 am of the following morning. ii. Ekiti State public officers on Grade Level 8 and above are to resume for duty from June 1, 2020, while those on Level 7 and below are to remain at home for now. iii. Existing restrictions on human and vehicular movement would continue to be observed in accordance with existing regulations contained in the Ekiti State Coronavirus Disease (Prevention of Infection), Regulations 2020. iv. For now, Ekiti boundaries will remain on complete lockdown daily pending further review at national level. v. Government is considering reopening the major markets to permanent shop owners, after the outcome of the engagement process that is ongoing on the relocation of roadside traders to the available alternative markets being prepared for them. The reopening will be subject to compliance with specific conditions and protocols that are being determined. vi. Similarly, government appreciates the impact of the continued stay at home of our children, therefore, effort is ongoing to reopen the schools as soon as the committee set up to appraise the protocols, resources, conditions and modalities for reopening has concluded its work.
  4. 4. Page 4 of 5 vii. As part of steps leading to the reopening of the schools, I have directed the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to commence a stakeholders’ engagement, including teachers, parents, vendors, school administrators and school owners, immediately, for a common position on the best way to manage the situation. This is without prejudice to what may be decided subsequently at the national level in respect of school reopening. viii. A similar committee will be engaging with the religious organisations to fashion out a workable protocol that will enable the religious houses to reopen very soon without jeopardising the lives and health of worshippers. ix. I like to reiterate that the ban on social gathering on account of religious, educational, political or any reasons whatsoever, remains in force until the ongoing consultations are concluded. 13. Ekiti Kete, as we enter another phase in the fight against the invisible but lethal enemy, there is, even now, a greater demand on all of us to take personal responsibility. 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. We have been fortunate so far not to have experienced mass infections and fatalities as seen in other parts of the world where medical know- how, technology and resources are much better, but we should not stretch our luck beyond the elastic limit by being complacent, especially now that more people will be tested in Ekiti State. 14. 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 medical capacity and return us to another round of stay-at-home with even more stringent measures. 15. I therefore want to reiterate that the protocols about personal hygiene, hand- washing, use of alcohol-based hand-sanitizer, physical and social distancing, use of face masks must continue to be observed, while our state boundaries remain shut. Our public transport operators must continue to comply with the protocols guiding their operations. Government will be very hard on offenders, because to whom much is given much is expected. 16. As I conclude this broadcast, I would like to express my immense appreciation to our frontline medical personnel, taskforce team, security agents and the general public. We are also indebted to the esteemed Members of the COVID-19 Response
  5. 5. Page 5 of 5 Resource Mobilisation Committee (RRMC), under the chairmanship of Prince Julius Adeluyi-Adelusi for their tremendous contribution to the fight. We owe them immeasurable appreciation for the procurement of the Mobile Molecular Laboratory and other critical interventions that the Committee has provided. 17. We also grateful to the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID), under the chairmanship of Alhaji Aliko Dangote for their contribution and donation to the State. We also appreciate the great work being done by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the hardworking team at the National Centre for Disease Control, under the leadership of Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu. 18. We are deeply thankful to those who have donated money and material resources as well as those who have volunteered their property for use as isolation centres. We appreciate those who have volunteered information about those sneaking into the state, this kind of information has saved the state the possibility of community transmission as two of such cases turned out to be infected persons. We need to remain more vigilant than ever and to continue to be watchful. 19. Thank you all, may we all see the end of this COVID-19 pandemic. It is my prayer that none of us shall be missing when it is time for the victory song. His Excellency Dr. Kayode Fayemi, CON Governor, Ekiti State, Nigeria Ado, Ekiti –Sunday, May 31, 2020

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