Edo State government has ordered compulsory use of face masks in the State in a bid to prevent the spread of Coronavirus pandemic, warning however that any resident who fails to wear face mask would be prosecuted.
The State deputy governor, Philip Shaibu made the assertion at a Media briefing to review Covid-19 on Monday in Benin City.
He announced that additional two persons in the State have tested positive for the virus, bringing the total number of persons infested with the disease to 11 since the first outbreak in the State was announced on March 23, 2020.
The deputy governor, said the government has reacted an agreement with affiliate Unions of Fashion designers in the State to mass produce face masks for residents of the State.
Shaibu also ordered the relocation of markets where food stuffs and other essential Commodities are sold to designated public primary Schools fields in line with the directive of the security agencies while the government will use the lockdown period of markets which begin midnight of Tuesday, April 7, 2020 to fumigate the various markets.
He said the government will fumigate the markets while necessary security would be provided at the school fields for trading across the 18 Local Government Area.
He also announced a ban on use of private residence and hotel in the State as isolation Centre over lack of compliance to medical standard practice on Covid-19 prevention.
According to him, “The government has mandated the use of face masks as government will sanction and prosecute anybody that is not adhering to these directive. We are had a meeting with Tailoring association mass produce face masks because we have discovered that the regular face are becoming very expensive and cannot be sustained.
“We are limiting the regular face masks to medical personnel….We encourage that to cut these spread and avoid the continuous spread, face mask will become mandatory if you must leave your home. We encourage all to still remain at home and if you must leave your home, you must wear a face mask.
“After a meeting with our various market leaders and women, we all came to the conclusion that we still have a serious issue relating to social distance.
“All markets in Edo State are to be shutdown effect from Tuesday 12 midnight and the State government will be taken advantage of the closure of the market to start fumigation on Wednesday April 2020”, he said.
He explained further that the State government has put necessary modalities in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 with well trained medical personnel, adding that the government was prepared for the worse case scenario if the need arises with the state-of-the-art equipment at the various holding and isolation Centres in the State.
On her part, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Coordinator in Edo State, Mrs. Faith Ireye, raised concern about the way some Nigerians in the State were flouting the government stay at home order.
Of the 11 Covid-19 cases in the State, the government has begun to trace 234 persons while 50 our of 60 persons who were quarantine, had tested negative to the virus.
Ireye said the government is following up 79 cases of suspected Coronavirus in the State.
Edo State Chairman of Association
of Local Government of Nigeria, ALGON, Mr Jerkins Evbareke Osunde and the State market women leader, Mrs Blacky Omoregie, spoke on steps taken to prevent the spread of the disease.
TheNewspad reports that the government had disclosed plans to provide palliative for vulnerable people in the State.