The Oyo State Government has vowed to explore the use of local solutions to address the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The governor of the state, Seyi Makinde, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, said home gown solutions will help stop the spread of the deadly virus.
Mr Makinde noted that Nigeria has intellectuals who can profer solution to the menace, stating that the State will encourage that.
Aside the local cure, he also disclosed that the government was already working on the passage of laws that would compel the use of face masks and also two additional testing centres.
“We are looking at local solutions. I know that a lot of people have been calling me all sorts of names on social media but, from my experience, one thing that I know you have to do to conquer the virus is that you have to boost your immunity. We do have local solutions and, of course, we have to defer to experts’ opinion as part of the home-grown solution to deal with COVID-19.”
“People may ask if we have been funding the research institutes very well. They may even ask if we are in a position to bring any kind of solution to the world. My answer is yes. Even chewing something like bitter-cola. When the Western world is having flu season, they have flu shots. But here, we have things like catarrh. When we are crossing over from dry season to rainy season, people almost always fall sick. Cold, cough, catarrh, we have ways of dealing with all of these locally.”
“So, except a solution comes from the Western or Eastern world, I won’t say that we cannot deal with it. I believe we have the capacity. We have the intellect to look at things that work locally and we will keep encouraging that. We have the capacity to also validate some of the results that we are going to be getting.”
“They did clinical trials for chloroquine and some other medications but these are things we take normally here. So, we are not ruling out a local solution to this pandemic.”
Mr Makinde also applauded the state’s COVID-19 Task Force for its hard work.
“We have made arrangements to decontaminate the Oyo State Secretariat and this will take place next week; between Monday, April 13th and Wednesday, April 15th. Thereafter, the secretariat will be opened on Monday, April 20th.”
“The team in charge of the decontamination are sending letters to religious leaders, traditional rulers, private organisations to decontaminate their facilities, using standardised contaminants. “We are also considering rapid testing, two additional centres to enable us map behaviour of the virus as far as the state is concerned.”
“The NCDC protocol is being followed at the approved virology laboratory in UCH. For those two additional centres, they discussed a protocol to be followed and I believe the experts are working on that. Once we have alignment on the protocol to be followed, we will roll this out, and our aspiration to test up to 10,000 people in Oyo State within the shortest possible time will be realized. The modelling of the state epidemiologist will help us decide the next step regarding the curfew and reopening of schools.”
Addressing the issue of palliative measures, he said the government will begin the distribution of food to the poorest of the poor.
“We will roll out palliatives for the poorest of the poor within the next one week. We are also working on a law to make the wearing of mask in public compulsory as one of the measures to slow down the spread of the virus. I know that, sometimes, it may not be comfortable but if we have to go through the discomfort to slow down the virus from spreading, we will make laws to ensure this is done.”
More so, he said the state has realised close to N200 million from corporate and individual bodies.
“I will like to appreciate all those who have donated to the state’s Endowment Fund for COVID-19. We were told in the meeting by the Commissioner for Finance that we have realised close to 200 million Naira and people are still donating. We have gone round this afternoon to check on the food items that have been donated.”
“So, I want to use this opportunity to thank everyone that has given us support and pitched in to help us fight this pandemic. And for those who are yet to donate or support us, this is an opportunity to do so.”
“On behalf of the government and the people of Oyo State, I say thank you once again. And I also thank those who are thinking about it and yet to bring their support, because I know they will eventually do the needful,” he said.