The Ondo State government has recorded the 41st coronavirus case (names withheld), a second-hand items seller at Oba Adesida Market, Akure.
It was learnt that the merchant evaded isolation after testing positive for the deadly virus in Imo State.
The Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Coronavirus and Commissioner for Health, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, disclosed this yesterday in Akure after monitoring churches’ compliance with COVID-19 protocols.
Adegbenro alleged poor compliance of residents with the protocols designed towards fighting against coronavirus pandemic, attributing recurring cases to interstate movement and breach of regulation.
“There is a need for our people to cooperate and understand. We have been seeing cases for the last two to five days, even from Akure. This means we have what we call community transmission.
“It is now important that people should comply with COVID-19 protocols. We saw a case yesterday who tested positive in Imo State and ran to Akure.
“It was those in Imo that gave us the report that somebody ran away from there. We had to track the woman down. Incidentally, she is a woman that sells shoes and bags in our market here. So, you only imagine how many people must have had contact with her now. We are line-listing them now and tracing the contacts.
“But that will be very difficult to do because somebody will just come in, buy and disappears; no address, nothing whatsoever. I think it is more important now that people should still keep away from the market.”
On those flouting the COVID-19 regulations, Adegbenro said: “We issued warnings to the erring ones but if we come around and see them with the same situation, the government may not have an alternative than to lock them down.
“The government would review the situation, it is not a static thing. If there are evidence that we need to review the situation, we will go ahead because the safety of the people is paramount.”
The commissioner, however, expressed satisfaction with the compliance of the churches with COVID-19 regulations after the ban was lifted two weeks ago by the state government.
“We are still encouraging them to improve their performance so far. This will be a regular exercise and COVID-19 is very much around, we have started seeing community transmission. There is the need for everyone to comply with COVID-19 protocol so as to keep safe,” he said.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Security Matters, Alhaji Jimoh Dojumo, who led the security team for the exercise, lamented: “It is quite unfortunate that people are beating all the checkpoints we put in place to check influx of people into Ondo State.”
“We have tried and we keep on trying. We blocked the major roads, feeder roads, farm roads and nowhere we have not blocked but the problem we are having is that the people in those areas are not cooperating.
“These are the people showing them new routes. The people in the villages are showing them new routes to enable them to beat the major checkpoints.
“We really want to be very proactive this time around, we are planning to improve on it. We are meeting again to restrategize,” the security adviser said.