Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde has explained that a total lockdown of the state has no benefit for now despite the rising cases of confirmed Coronavirus.
He spoke during a programme on Fresh FM in Ibadan.
The governor said 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.
He said: “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 make decisions that are based on logic and fact. It’s an 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.
“I think, everything is on the table, but it 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 looking 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.”
Makinde said contact tracing and tests have been carried out on aides and others, who interacted with him during the period.
He said: “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.”
Giving update on his COVID-19 case, the governor said: “Well, I still don’t have any symptom. As I am talking to you, I can take my body temperature, I have a thermometer and it will read it out to you (temperature is read out by the thermometer as 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.”