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COVID-19: Edo, Ogun sensitise religious leaders, traders

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By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta

Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state, has warned that the second wave of Coronavius (Covid-19) pandemic would be more devasting, if precautionary measures are not strictly adhered to.

The governor gave the warning in Wednesday in Benin, during a virtual meeting with Christian and Muslim leaders in the state.

He charged them to redouble their efforts in supporting the state government’s efforts to halt the spread of the second wave of Covid-19.

The governor intimated the leaders that though the state government has deployed resources in tackling the second wave of Covid-19, the data from its Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), shows that the pandemic is still spreading much more than it did during the first wave.

“Covid-19 is with us again. It has come back with more venom and has become more virulent. It is spreading much more than it did during the first wave.

“In the first wave, the bulk of the cases were in Ikpoba Okha, Egor and Oredo local government areas (LGAs), now we are seeing disturbing trends in Etsako West and Esan West LGAs.

“People are not adhering to the guidelines and it has become worrisome. What is most disturbing is that children are now being highly infected, which is a cause for concern. We are worried and we cannot fold our arms,” he said.

The governor urged religious organisations to play active roles in conscientizing their members on adhering to Covid-19 prevention guidelines when in church and also when they interact with others in markets, parks and other public places.

Responding, the Chairman of the state chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Oyennude Kure, disclosed that religious leaders would activate CAN Covid-19 compliance committee to monitor and ensure that churches are equipped with handwashing stations, observe social distancing and limit the duration of their services.

Also speaking, the Chief Imam of Benin Central Mosque, Abdulfatah Enabulele, pledged to communicate the deadly nature of the disease to the Muslim faithful so they can take personal responsibility for their safety.

The Ogun State government, in its continued efforts to reduce the community spread of Coronavirus, has reached out to markets leaders to further enlighten traders on the need to adhere strictly to COVID-19 guidelines.

Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Funmi Efuwape speaking during a public enlightenment road show on the reality of COVID- 19, organised in collaboration with Suredata Consulting Limited and Eternalstone, at Omida market, Abeokuta, said it is imperative to remind women of their responsibilities to protect themselves, their families, and other members of the society against the virus.

Efuwape urged citizens to always observe COVID-19 protocols, such as regular hand washing, wearing of face mask, maintaining social distancing, among others, adding that ‘’this will go a long way at curtailing the spread of the virus’’.

In a similar walk to Kuto Market, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Women Affairs, Adijat Oladapo -Adeleye, stated that the pandemic is not a disease for the rich only, saying the poor could also contract it, if care is not taken.

While demonstrating the proper way to cough or sneeze, when going about their trading activities, Oladapo-Adeleye emphasised the need to bend their elbows, in order to avoid the spread, in the course of handling the second wave of the pandemic.

The Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Melutia Ogunremi and other directors in the Ministry were part of the road show.