Exclusive: How Osun Government, Residents Neglect Preventive Guidelines Amidst Covid-19 Second Wave(Photos)

 It is no longer news that the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading in an unprecendented manner and causing great havoc in every part of the world. While the rest of the world are investing serious efforts into minimising the spread of this deadly virus, many Nigerians have continued to act irresponsibly towards the current global situation. VAM News' reporter, Taiwo Adekola takes a look at how residents of Osogbo, Osun state Nigeria continue to neglect Covid-19 safety protocols but the government seems not to be concerned. 

Photo shows market traders violating Covid-19 preventive rules

ovid-19, a global pandemic is an ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS CoV 2). First discovered in december 2019, it has spread to 191 countried and territories. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern in January 2020 and a pandemic in March 2020. As of 11 January 2021, more than 90.7 million cases have been confirmed with more than 1.94 million deaths. 

The disease which striked in Nigeria in February 2020 had resulted into government across levels enforcing preventive protocols, and imposing lockdown, movement restrictions and curfew at different points in time. While schools were closed, interstate travels prohibited and businesses shut down, the pandemic also resulted into government activities becoming paralysed. 

At the time it appeared that the rate of infections had peaked in the country; the restrictions were lifted and lockdown eased, thereby enabling full reopening of the economy. 

When many Nigerians were still struggling to recover from the loses caused by the virus' first wave, the presidential task force on Covid-19 on 17 December 2020 announced that there were indications that the country had entered the second wave of the pandemic. 

This indication was manifested by the sudden increase in the number of cases being recorded daily in the country. 343 new cases were recorded on 4 December 2020, the highest number of cases since August 23, 2020 when the National Centre for Disease Control announced 322 new cases. Ever since then (December 4), the number of cases have been alarming with the highest -1664- recorded on January 6 2021.

Meanwhile, the people of Osun state, in all of these appear to be unbothered about the emergence of the second wave of the pandemic. Across the nooks and crannies of the state, particularly Osogbo the state capital, the flagrant disregard to Covid-19 protocols was so alarming as observed when VAM News reporter visited some public places. It was as if people of the state capital were unaware of the virus' existence. 

Photo shows bank customers not adhering to Covid-19 guidelines inside a banking hall.

Since the last lockdown was eased, residents of Osogbo have been going about their daily activities with reckless abandon not minding the fact that there exist a legislation that gives legal backing to compulsory adherence to Covid-19 preventive guidelines. 

It was observed by our reporter that, at every corner of the state capital, commercial and private motorists, passengers, okada riders, business owners, market women, hawkers and other members of the public no longer adhere to any Covid-19 guideline -the simplest of which should be wearing of facemask. It was so bad that some commercial mini-bus (korope) drivers had two passengers seated at the front seat while some okada riders were seen carrying more than two passengers. 

Buyers inside Osun mall

VAM News reporter was at Orisunbare and Akindeko markets where the compliance to Covid-19 guidelines was nothing to write home about. It was a beehive of activities with zero level of social distancing and only few people were seen wearing facemask. 

The situation was a bit different at the Osun Mall where it was observed that wearing of facemask only serves as pass to gain access to the mall. Beyond that, no one is concerned about keeping to Covid-19 safety rules as buyers and sellers were neither wearing facemask nor practising social distancing. 

Religious houses are not left out of this nonchalant attitudes towards the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

At the worship houses (mosques and churches) visited by our correspondent; while only a handful number of congregants put on facemask, there were no other measures such as social distancing, handwashing and use of hand sanitisers put in place by the leaders of these worship centers. This is further emphasising that religious leaders do not enforce Covid-19 safety protocols in their place of worship.

Man going out of the state Secretariat without putting on facemask

When VAM News reporter visited the Osun state Secretariat, Abere, the level of compliance to Covid-19 guidelines was a disappointment to say the least. It was observed that at the entrance of the secretariat, there were no provisions for handwashing and temperature check. Even the security officers were not putting on wearing facemask nor observing social distancing.

At the Bola Ige house (Governor's office), our reporter witnessed a high level zero-compliance to the Covid-19 rules. Visitors and workers were seen not to wear facemask and neither was social distancing practiced. The situation was the same at the deputy governor's office and some ministries visited by VAM News reporter. 

Some Staff of the state Secretariat

With these ugly developments, one may begin to wonder if the Osun state government is aware of the fact that the second wave of this deadly virus is already spreading across the state and that between December 17 2020 and January 10 2021, the state recorded 100 positive cases. 

The Osun state government particularly the state's Covid-19 task force is hereby advised to take the bull by the horn and tackle this second wave before it begins to spread like a wildfire. All measures are advised to be put in place to ensure that people of the state comply with safety protocols. Enforcement officers must as matter of urgency be deployed to public space like bars, restaurants, markets and others to ensures that the rules are not flouted. They must also ensure that violators are brought to justice instantly. 

The people of the state must also understand that the non-compliance to guidelines that prevent the virus'spread is a time bomb which explosion will be fatal and no one will be unaffected. The people are enjoined not to go to bed while the roof is on fire.

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