Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde has said that certain things would have to be out into consideration before imposing a lockdown in the state.
His colleagues from other states have been locking down the state in order to curtail spread of the coronavirus.
Speaking during a programme on Fresh FM in Ibadan, the governor, who is also post a positive case of COVID-19 explained that a total lockdown of the state has no benefit for now. Although there are rising cases of confirmed Coronavirus in the state with Oyo currently having eight.
Makinde further explained that he opted for curfew as a form of partial lockdown, which will still allow millions of people who earn daily income to go about their normal businesses while observing World Health Organisation (WHO) precautions on COVID-19.
“When we spoke last Saturday about everything that could be done to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Oyo State, I said we would continue to assess the situation and take additional measures where necessary.
“But remember also that my own background is engineering and I kept saying to people that as an engineer, you take decisions that are based on logic and fact. It’s uncharted territory. We kept on interacting with the experts to find out what are the facts emerging.
“Yes, Lagos can be on lockdown, Ogun can be on lockdown, Oyo State, yes, people have been saying have a total lockdown and then I have been asking them questions. What will be the benefits here? Are there alternative courses of action for us to take? If you ask people not to come out, you lock down the markets, there are people who what they sell today – the profit from today’s activities is what they will eat tomorrow.
“There are many people like that within our environment. So, are there alternatives available to us. Can we do selective lockdowns? That’s why I imposed the curfew, to say limit interactions.”
While noting that there several options on the table, Makinde said each decision made has to follow a logical pattern and it will need the input of experts.
“We are not just going to lock down because everyone is locking down. I have been watching CNN and the most successful place right now in containing this is the Czech Republic. And one of the things they brought out is that they made a law that if you must leave your house, you must wear a mask. It may be that route for us to go.
“I have asked them to start evaluating that. If we must make that law and say everybody that must go out must wear a mask, then, how about those who cannot afford it. Can we make masks locally? Can we get our artisans and our tailors to commit to that with the government supporting? So, these are the type of solutions we are looking for.”
After testing positive of the dreaded virus, the governor revealed that contact tracing and tests have been carried out on aides and others, who interacted with him during the period.
“Yes, I can confirm to you that I took the test the same time as the Secretary to the State Government and when the result came out, they said one tested positive and the other, negative and it turned out to be that I came out positive and she came out negative.
“So, everyone that has had contact with me, we are asking them to go into self-isolation and as soon as any of them shows any symptoms, then they get tested.”
Speaking on his COVID-19 case, Makinde said he is still asymptomatic adding that his current body temperature reads 36.5 degrees Celsius.
“But the fact that I have no symptoms is why I have been insisting that people should maintain social distancing, follow hygienic practices and stay at home. Because we don’t know who you are interacting with. It may be someone with COVID-19 without even knowing it. So, even a gathering of 10, the maximum that I allow in Oyo State, may still expose you to COVID-19.
“So, the bottom line is; first, this thing is real. Two, we have to halt the way we interact with ourselves, at least, until we have a handle on the disease itself.”