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Oyo reviews curfew, approves conversion of isolation centers to PHCs

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THE Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, headed by Governor SeyiMakinde, Thursday, announced the cancellation of the 10 p.m. curfew imposed on the state in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. TaiwoAdisa, which contained details of the report of the task force meeting held on August 31, 2020, and presided over by the governor, indicated that the curfew has been abolished after series of reviews.

  The task force, however, specifically warned operators of Night Clubs to desist from accommodating persons in closed areas within their premises, adding that research has confirmed that the virus spreads faster when people cluster in closed venues.

According to the statement, an advisory would be sent to night clubs owners by the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) arm of the task force, which will warn operators not to allow guests into their enclosed areas.

The statement further indicated that the task force issued another warning to residents of the state to continue to follow the “own your action initiative’ of the state’s COVID-19 Task Force, as, according to the task force, the state “is not completely out of the woods with regards to COVID-19.”

  It explained that the decision by the Governor Makinde-led Task Force to abolish the curfew was premised on the need to reduce the burden on business owners in the state, whom, it said, has been affected by the curfew, especially since the COVID-19 situation has begun to improve in the state.

  According to the task force, though it appeared that COVID-19 cases are coming down in the state, “the confidence interval could not be determined yet.”

  It warned residents of the state not to jettison the guidelines on the prevention of the virus, including washing of hands, social distancing and use of nose masks.\

  The statement also informed that Governor Makinde has directed the EOC not to relent in data gathering and analysis in order to appropriately situate the context of the virus within the state.

  The statement added that the governor has also approved the conversion of the Aawe Isolation Centre to a Level 3 Primary Health Care Centre (PHC), directing that the facility should be decontaminated and handed over to the Hospital Management Board.

Similarly, the statement confirmed that the task force has approved that except for the Infectious Disease Centre, Olodo, Ibadan, other isolation centres in the state could be converted to Level 3 PHC.

  It however, stated that whenever a spike in COVID-19 cases is noticed in the location where any of the facilities is situated, such a facility would be re-converted as an isolation centre or a part of it will be so utilised as an isolation centre.

  While briefing the task force meeting, former Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital and Coordinator of the Oyo State Isolation Centres, Prof TemitopeAlonge, maintained that upon the decline in the number of COVID-19 patients on admission at the isolation centres, the staff strength of the healthcare workers should be reduced to a tenth of the current size.

  He added that the health care workers in the Oyo State service have been adequately trained to manage the reduced cases of infection, saying that health workers from the UCH would be put on the reserved list and called upon whenever the need arises

  In its briefing at the meeting, the EOC reported that it has, in collaboration with the Information Communication Centre of the state, developed a portal for the registration of NCDC-licensed private laboratories for the conduct of COVID-19 tests.

  I n all, the task force noted that a total of 15,700 COVID-19 tests have been conducted, with 3,118 confirmed cases and 37 fatalities.

The special adviser to the governor on health, DrFunmi Salami, also hinted that there has been a spike in the cases of stroke among the elderly in the state largely due to being confined to their various homes in order to avoid COVID-19 infections.

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