Barring any unforeseen circumstance, the Edo State Government will on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, begin the enforcement of restrictions of access to large gatherings for unvaccinated residents of the state as directed by Governor Godwin Obaseki some three weeks ago.
The enforcement, the state government disclosed, will begin with government offices across the state, as only those who could produce at least the certificate of the first jab will be allowed entry.
The measure, the government listed, is part of intensified efforts initiated to contain the pandemic and protect the majority of Edo citizens against the deadly virus, following the progressive rise in the number of infections and mortalities in the state.
The state government also disclosed that it had, so far, recorded 1,034 confirmed cases and 53 fatalities in the third wave of the pandemic with about 20 new deaths of persons who were not inoculated with the vaccines in the last four days.
This was just as it further disclosed that it noted in the past nine weeks, young people less than 50 years old accounted for over 73.1 per cent of total confirmed cases of infection the state, while unvaccinated persons accounted for over 98 per cent of all fatalities recorded within the same period.
Making the disclosure on Tuesday at the daily press briefing on COVID-19 at the Government House in Benin City, the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr Osamwonyi Irowa, said entry into government offices would be consequent on presentation of proof of vaccination.
“If you have to enter the State Secretariat and other government offices, you must have your vaccination cards; we are going to implement this in all the key areas to ensure that we don’t have people being infected because the other person is proving difficult”, Irowa announced.
The permanent secretary added that “the first phase of the enforcement, which begins tomorrow, September 15, is targeted at state government facilities.
“Those that cannot provide their COVID-19 vaccination cards may have to excuse us and be working from home, pending when a decision will be reached. As a state, we are doing everything possible to make sure that people don’t get infected,” he reiterated.
“We are appealing to our people to get vaccinated because that is the more suitable way to prevent the severity of the disease and avoid death. The enforcement teams will commence tomorrow to help us reduce the number of cases and deaths that we are recording daily,” he added.
Also speaking, the Head of COVID-19 Enforcement Team, Mr Yusuf Haruna, said the state government had trained 20 special teams spread across the state to commence the enforcement of “no vaccination, no entry into government-owned facilities.”
“As we all know, the government has the responsibility of protecting the lives and property of citizens. In view of this, we have trained 20 special teams that will be spread across the 18 local government areas of the state.
“They will commence this enforcement from the 15th of September, 2021. What we expect our people to do is that, while going to work, they should go with their vaccination cards. The government is not forcing anybody to take the vaccines, but it has the responsibility to tell you not to spread the virus.
“What we are going to do tomorrow is to grant those who have the authentic vaccination cards access to their government working places and those without the cards can go back and work from home.
“These 20 special teams will be saddled with the responsibility of scanning and confirming the authenticity of these vacation cards and also diligently asking those who don’t have to go and work from home. This is the directive of the state government and it will be enforced to the letter,” Haruna assured.
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