Abiodun OBA |
The state commissioner for information and civic orientation Osun state, Funke Egbemode, announced in a statement, on Sunday that Osun recorded five cases of the COVID-19 strain first discovered in the United Kingdom.
Egbemode said the confirmation of five cases of the UK COVID-19 strain is worrisome owing to its deadly nature.
She said the lack of adherence to COVID-19 protocol by residents poses a threat in the coming days.
“The Govt of Osun regrets to announce that the State has in the past few days recorded five cases of the violent & deadly B117 strain of COVID-19, which was first reported in the United Kingdom,” she said.
“This is particularly worrisome because it is barely a week that the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 announced the discovery of the strain in Nigeria, and Osun already has five cases.
“Considering the continued disregard and defiance for safety protocols in the state, the government is extremely concerned about the days ahead.”
Apart from the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 strain found in the UK, other reported variants include B.1.351 discovered in South Africa, and P.1 variant identified in Brazil.
The commissioner said if the variant spreads, more persons will become vulnerable, especially those with underlying conditions.
She asked residents to comply with COVID-19 guidelines provided by the government in order to avoid tragic cases.
“This new strain spreads faster and kills quicker. If it continues to grow, more citizens will become vulnerable and those with underlying ailments more endangered,” she said.
“We cannot continue to act like Covid-19 is not real. It is not just a sad reality but one that has changed momentum with this more deadly strain.
“Citizens are enjoined to scale up their personal responsibility for safety by complying with all the non-pharmaceutical protocols outlined by the government, to avoid tragic consequences.”
This development comes less than a week after the presidential task force on COVID-19 announced that the virus strain first reported in the UK has been found in Nigeria.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), over 1,500 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Osun
Meanwhile, The Presidency has urged Nigerians to adhere strictly to covid-19 advisory to avert another lockdown.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a release on Sunday evening entitled “Nigerians should comply with mandatory mask wearing to avert another lockdown”, expressed concern over the non-compliance with the recently signed Executive Order which makes mask wearing and observation of social distancing in the public mandatory.
Shehustressed, “Nigerians have come a long way from the dreaded lockdown and the administration is unhappy about any prospects of bringing it back as many citizens will not have food on the table without venturing out on a day-to-day business.
“Nigerians are required to wear masks, wash hands regularly with soap and clean water, and keep safe distance with anybody not in your household, hoping that this will help check spread of COVID-19.Though vaccine availability is within reach, the propensity of the public for noncompliance weakens the fight against the virus.
“Nigerians must ignore baseless conspiracy theories that seek to deny the reality of the pandemic by complying with the order to wear masks.We have a duty to protect ourselves and others in this difficult global health crisis; no one has immunity against this pandemic. Ignoring health warnings and refusing to comply with safety measures does more harm than good”
Appealing to Nigerians to give their maximum cooperation for success of the policy, the Presidency said the President introduced the Order with the best of intentions and not with any motive to punish citizens and urged state governments, traditional rulers and religious leaders to play active roles in the sensitization and enforcement of the Executive Order.
“He said, To achieve this, COVID-19 task forces and committees should persuade members of the public to cooperate with the government in achieving compliance and avoid crude methods that may create resistance and resentment, thereby defeating the primary goal of the Executive Order.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a major threat to public health and wearing of masks, social distancing in public places and the basic hygiene are necessary measures that have to be taken to safeguard the well-being of our citizens.
“Nigerians must always have it in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic is not only a threat to the health of the population but it is equally so to the national economy, and to every aspect of our everyday life.Protecting public health is one of the sacred duties of any responsible government and the administration will not abdicate that responsibility,” the release stated.
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