By Solomon Odeniyi
The State Government of Osun has expressed optimism that the enforcement of the use of face masks by residents of the state would go a long way in containing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Osun COVID-19 Task Force, in conjunction with the security operatives had been arresting some residents of the state who have been disregarding government’s directive on compulsory usage of face masks as part of measures to nip COVID-19 infection in the bud.
Some of the people arrested for failing to use face masks in Osogbo, the state capital were taken to Salvation Army School at Alekuwodo, where they were given enlightenment lectures on the Coronavirus.
Speaking with OSUN DEFENDER in a phone interview on the effectiveness of the approach, the Commissioner for Regional Integration and Special Duties in the state, Mr. Olalekan Badmus stated that the measure was already yielding fruits.
Badmus stated that ‘a lot of recalcitrant people’ were arrested and released after taking them to designated centres for enlightenment on the virus”.
He said: “The recent approach taken by the government on the enforcement of the use of face masks will assist us a lot in the containment of the spread of the virus in the state. As you can see, people are now more conscious about wearing face masks.
“For now, we are embarking on the arrest of recalcitrant people. We are currently taking them to a designated centre where they would be delayed and made to watch and learn about Coronavirus-related issues. There, they are made to see with their eyes what their defiance could cause them.
“They will also see and appreciate the efforts of the government at containing the virus. This will be done for a while before we take additional step. A handful of persons have been arrested”.
Badmus described the reopening of inter-state borders by the Federal Government as disadvantage to the State of Osun.
He stated that the action may put the state under pressure, as most of the recorded cases in the state were imported from neighbouring states, even when the state borders were closed.
The commissioner said: “As a state, the decision to lift the ban on interstate traveling is a disadvantage to us. Even when the ban was still on, we had recorded new cases. People came in to the state for medicals because they believe in our health care services.
“The reopening of the state borders will no doubt put more pressure on us. But we will ensure our pillars are active and put up measures that will enable us cope with the challenges coming ahead.”