By Iduozee Paul Benin
The Edo State Government has strengthened its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by stepping up preventive measures to avoid a third wave of the pandemic.
Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa, who represented Governor Godwin Obaseki at a press conference, said the government is committed to winning the war against the pandemic and ensuring the health of citizens.
According to him, the measures will guide religious gatherings, schools, markets and shops, transportation, hotels, lounges, bars and restaurants, social gatherings including weddings, anniversaries and funerals and the state’s civil and public service.
For religious gatherings, “COVID-19 Monitoring/ Enforcement Team should be reactivated and remain functional; provide hand-washing stations with running water and liquid soap, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers at entry and exit points; conduct temperature checks at entrance points; ensure correct and consistent use of facemasks; sitting should not exceed maximum of 50 percent of capacity per session.
“Schools should revert to the normal session arrangement (8am-2pm); enforce ‘no face mask, no entry’ policy; provide hand washing stations with running water and liquid soap at entry points into class rooms and offices; temperature checks to be observed at entry points into schools; sitting arrangement should be at least 1.0 meters apart and the rooms well ventilated. School heads and teachers should routinely monitor compliance of staff and students; school heads and teachers are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated and boarding schools are strongly recommended to observe 50 percent hostel capacity”.
In addition: “Markets and shops must provide hand-washing stations with running water and liquid soap. Risk Communication/ Enforcement Teams to liaise with market leaders to enforce compliance for traders and buyers, enforce appropriate and consistent use of facemasks; create and/or maintain designated physical distancing markings in shops and malls and enforce ‘no face mask, no entry’ policy.
“Hotels, lounges and bars should enforce strict observance of ‘no facemask, no entry’ policy; provide hand washing stations with running water and liquid soap. Eat-in should be restricted to 50 per cent capacity, all others should be take away; reduce numbers of chairs in bars, lounges, etc.; enforce physical distancing measures and swimming pools and pool party remain closed.
“Social events are encouraged to be held outdoors, if indoors, it should not exceed 50 percent carrying capacity with strict observance of ‘no face mask, no entry’ policy with consistent and proper use of face masks (Banners should be well displayed at all entry points to draw attention on NPIS). Organizers should provide hand wash stations, sanitizers and facemasks during events.
“All MDAs must constitute and make functional their Monitoring and Enforcement Committee; all staff should be present daily at work with strict observance of ‘no face mask, no entry’ policy. All MDAs must provide hand wash stations with running water and liquid soap”.