The Oyo State Government has launched a statewide containment and decontamination response initiative to curtail the spread of COVID-19 across the state.
Newsmen report that a training programme on COVID-19 Decontamination Response Network held at the University of Ibadan on Tuesday ahead of the commencement of the initiative.
The training had in attendance representatives of environmental health officers in all the 33 local government areas which had been divided into seven zones.
In her address at the forum, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo, the state’s Team Lead of the Containment and Decontamination Project, said the initiative would focus on the next phase in the containment of COVID-19 in the state.
“COVID-19 has spread beyond Ibadan and what that means is that the government has to be responsive to do what is right.
“You can imagine if there is an incidence in Ibarapa and another one in Iseyin, it would be very difficult for the state containment team to cover all.
“So what the government is doing is to decentralise the containment efforts.
“Containment is not all about decontamination, it is a lot of things, so this is embedded in the local government system. Every local government has an environmental health unit.
“These are the people that are being trained because they are on the staff of the Oyo State government already to be able to take up this task as frontliners,” she said.
Adeyemo said 77 environmental health officers were being trained while each team had been provided with a revolving N500,000 seed grant for the purchase of chemicals and logistics.
She canvassed the need for self policing, adding that compliance form had been made available to report violators of COVID-19 guidelines.
Speaking on the high rate of COVID-19 cases in the state, Adeyemo said there was the need to work more on compliance to reduce infections.
Adeyemo said: “If you look at the mortality rate and you look at Oyo State and compare it with Edo state that is behind us and you compare the mortality, definitely they are under reporting in those states.
“I think Oyo State is doing more testing and we are reporting a closer to accurate number and that is why we are high there.
“But when you compare the mortality rate for people behind Oyo State on the NCDC list of confirmed cases then you will see that their mortality is higher.
“And it is just science, the more the cases the more likely people will die. So it’s easy to extrapolate that those states that have very high mortality but low numbers of confirmed cases are under reporting.”
NAN reports that Oyo State has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria.
Also speaking, Mr Mojeed Mogbonjubola, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, said the decentralisation of containment was the initiative of the administration.
“It is quite unfortunate that the pandemic is spreading really wide and we couldn’t contain it in Ibadan.
“What His Excellency is trying to do in conjunction with the University of Ibadan is to extend the committee’s team to other regions of the state.
“This is about a call to service. Like I always advise people it is a privilege for everybody to be part of this and it is something that will stay with us for a very long time.
“Since there is no vaccine to control the virus the only way is to contain it and decontaminate affected zones,” he said.
In his remarks, Alhaji Akeem Azeez, the Personal Assistant to the Governor, urged residents to own their actions as well as their safety since the virus had spread all over the state.
Tunde Adeyanju, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said there was the need for a very good response in view of the rate of infections in the state.
Prof. Victoria Adetunji, a technical expert in the team, urged participants to adhere to precautions in handling the decontamination equipment while engaging in evaluation of their activities.
Newsmen report that the training programme featured presentation of the containment equipment to the seven zones and practical session on mixing chemicals and handling of the equipment.