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Press Briefing by the Head, Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force (May 18, 2020)

  • 3 min read

Today, I am being joined by Professor Temitope Alonge, a member of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force. He will brief you on the new treatment protocol for COVID-19 cases in the state and the reliability of the results obtained so far.

I will yield the floor to him in a moment but first, let me give you a general overview of where we are in the fight against COVID-19 in Oyo State.

The details of the company in Ibadan South West Local Government Area where 38 COVID-19 cases have so far, been confirmed in the last two days, will be unveiled tomorrow. We have held back from revealing the name of the company so as to allow the Emergency Operations Centre gather intelligence and complete their investigation. So, they will be done by tomorrow and we will be able to give you that information so that any person who has visited the company recently will be able to present themselves for testing.

On the management of COVID-19 cases, we will continue to allow all confirmed COVID-19 cases who are able to self-isolate at home to do so, in order not to overwhelm the capacity of our isolation centres. This also ensures that the isolation centres are available for those who need hospitalisation. However, we will keep tracking those self-isolating using technology to prevent community spread.

We will issue an advisory based on the advice given by Professor E. Olatunde Farombi, a Professor of Biochemistry, and Fellow, Nigeria Academy of Science. This is on foods and natural products useful as preventive measures against COVID-19 and other viral illnesses. For instance, we have bitter kola, turmeric, zinc, ginger, garlic, citrus fruits and bitter leaf. Let me emphasise that this advisory is not for the treatment or cure of COVID-19, it is preventive.

Regarding our directives on social distancing during this pandemic, we have received requests from religious leaders about relaxing the ban on gatherings to allow religious services hold. We are currently in an accelerated phase in the transmission of COVID-19 in Oyo State and the expert advice is that transmission occurs more easily in enclosed spaces. So, we cannot at this time, relax this directive.

However, the experts are carrying out a risk situation analysis and will be sending in their report before the end of May and this will determine our next steps. Therefore, we will be meeting with religious leaders before the end of this week to see how and when reopening of religious places will be possible.

Let me now hand over to Professor Temitope Alonge.