The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ondo State Council has expressed concern at the unprecedented spike in the confirmed cases of deadly COVID-19 pandemic in the state in the last three weeks.
It, therefore, called on the state government ” to consider the option of declaring a 7-day or 14-day lockdown to urgently stop the spread of the pandemic.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the State Chairman of the Union, Comrade Adetona Aderoboye and the State Secretary, Comrade Leke Adegbite in Akure.
“Ondo NUJ is also concerned that the state Health facilities have been overstretched by the COVID-19 pandemic, no doubt the state is in a health crisis, even as we pray God to grant our State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and other COVID-19 patients quickest recovery.
“We equally register our sincere condolences to the family, people and government of Ondo State over the sudden death of the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro who also chaired the state Taskforce on COVID-19 until his death. We pray Almighty Allah to grant his soul peaceful rest and continue to uphold his family.
“The Union’s Preliminary findings from its members who on the field show that the state government was well on top of the situation of fighting the disease until three weeks ago when the government ordered the reopening of religious centres; while poor enforcement of 7 pm to 7 am dust to dawn curfew as well as a total violation of precautionary measures at all markets, hotels, relaxation centres in the state without penalties against defaulters are other factors.
“The Union also observes that despite the State government’s commendable distribution of nose masks to a reasonable number of people in the state, the compulsory use of same was unfortunately not enforced at public places.
“The Union, therefore, calls on the state government to consider the option of declaring a 7-day or 14-day lockdown to urgently stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic at a disturbing rate. “This measure will enable the government to carry out effective contacts tracing and deploy more combative efforts both from the state and federal governments.
“Ondo NUJ also pleads with striking doctors and the state government to immediately reach a compromise on disputing matters to facilitate effective treatment of COVID-19 patients.
“The Union appeals to the Presidential Committee on COVID-19 and NCDC to deploy necessary resources to Ondo State as it helped in Kano and Lagos states.
“We warn members of the public to obey various COVID-19 precautionary measures and they should know that the disease is real and deadly, while the Union seriously advises media professionals in the state to perform their duties with extraordinary caution.