COVID-19: Why we’ve not opened Oyo churches, mosques, Makinde explains, 137 now infected

Governor Seyi Makinde, Head, Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, during his press briefing on Monday, May 18, 2020. (File photo)

Governor Seyi Makinde has spoken to the reason religious centres have not been opened in Oyo State, weeks after he partially relaxed the lockdown on the state.

Makinde, explained this on Monday during the briefing by the state Task Force on COVID-19, at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.

He said the ban on religious gathering in the state could not be relaxed now due to advice from medical experts that COVID-19 transmission occurs more easily in enclosed places.

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The governor who said that he had received request from some religious leaders to relax the ban so that religious services could hold, said, “experts’ advice is that we can not, at this point in time, relax the directive.”

However, he said, the experts are carrying out a situation analysis and will be sending in their reports before the end of May, which would determine the state government’s next step.

Makinde also gave an update on the confirmation of 38 COVID-19 cases in an organisation in Ibadan in the last two days.

He said the task force withheld the name of the organisation so as to allow the Emergency Operations Centre to gather intelligence and complete investigation.

But Makinde said the identity of the organisation would be revealed on Tuesday, “so that those who had visited the company recently will be able to present themselves for testing”.

On management of COVID-19 cases, Makinde said the task force would continue to allow confirmed cases who were isolating at home to do so, in order not to overrun the capacity of isolation centres.

He said the task force would, however, keep tracking those self-isolating through the use of technology, to prevent  spread.

He further said that the task force would ensure that the state isolation centres would be available for those who would  need hospitalisation.

Giving advisory on foods and natural products useful as preventive measures against COVID-19 and other viral illnesses, Makinde urged the people to eat bitter cola, tumeric, ginger, garlic, zinc and citrus fruits as well as bitter leaves.

He said all the items were readily available in “our environment”, but emphasised that the items were not cure or treatment for COVID-19.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Oyo as of Monday night with 19 fresh cases reported is 137, while so far, 47 fully recovered patients have been discharged and four death cases reported.