Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo has ordered the closure of all primary, secondary and tertiary schools from Friday 20 March, to curb the spread of coronavirus.
“There is no doubt that this global pandemic poses a real challenge to all nations, yet if we all collaborate effectively, we will overcome it successfully”, the governor said in a special broadcast to the people on Thursday.
He said the school closure was meant to “harvest children into the safety net” for proper monitoring and care.
“One major advantage that our state has is the experience and expertise we have developed over the years from our fight against Lassa fever and other infections.
“We believe this will place us in good stead at this critical period. It is therefore important for members of the public to remain calm, avoid panic and spreading of inaccurate information,” he said.
Akeredolu, therefore, called on residents to obey and observe the simple, time-tested and internationally accepted precautionary measures to fight the virus.
“We urge us all to fully embrace the hand washing exercise at every interval of our daily activities. We must avoid hand shaking and unnecessary social embrace.
“We must reduce or where possible, postpone, until further notice, ceremonies and other social gatherings. We urge us to avoid staying in overcrowded areas and avoid any unnecessary travels outside the state.
“It is important we engage in improved self and family hygiene as well as mobilise our community service providers including traders, drivers, butchers, bank workers, health workers to make use of face mask to cover the mouth and the nose when engaging in their daily activities,” he said.
He also charged all major stakeholders to urgently commence a deliberate and comprehensive mobilisation of their members to observe these precautionary measures.
“I hereby task our community leaders, political leaders, traditional rulers, religious leaders, heads of educational institutions, Nigerian Medical Association, Association of General Medical Practitioners and other health workers,
” Leaders of traders association, women groups, youth groups, transport unions and others to urgently commence a deliberate and comprehensive mobilisation of their members to observe these precautionary measures,” he said.
Akeredolu, who denied rumour that the state had recorded one case of Coronavirus, said that the only suspected case was under intense observation and comprehensive test.
“Contrary to the misinformation and mischief set to create panic among our people, I wish to stress that no death has been recorded in Ondo State on account of Coronavirus so far.
“The situation as at today is that a suspected case is under intense observation and comprehensive test.
“This process of surveillance and management currently ongoing in this isolated case is part of the standard procedure in dealing with infectious disease outbreaks. We urge us to ignore the unauthorised and unconfirmed statements.
“We believe this Coronavirus pandemic is another test of our resolve to preserve our existence, we will win by the grace of Almighty God.
“Let me reassure you again that state government will do everything and all things in its power, knowledge and capability to protect and preserve our well-being.
“It is our duty and commitment to ensure that Ondo State people live a healthy and fulfilled life,” he said.