The Benin Monarch, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, Oba Ewuare II has called on Governor Godwin Obaseki to totally lock down Edo State to stem the growing spread of coronavirus.
In a letter to Obaseki, dated April 16, 2020, Oba Ewuare II stated that the state government should in addition direct the stoppage of movement into and out of the State, enforce strictly the ‘stay-at-home’ order as well as the observance of social distancing practices coupled with other health and safety protocols advised by health experts at the domestic and International levels.
Part of the letter read in parts: “Your Excellency, we respectfully wish to invite your attention to the incidence of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and the attendant risk of its continued spread among the people of Edo State.
“You may wish to recall the stakeholders meeting convened by Your Excellency with traditional rulers at the onset of the outbreak of the virus wherein I advised that the Edo State Government should take very seriously the issue of containment to mitigate its contraction and spread among citizens and residents of the state.
“However, we have observed with serious concern the rising number of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 in the state which as at the date of this letter has reached 15 persons with one death recorded”.
The Oba advised that as efforts to manage the confirmed cases are ongoing, adequate measures should also be taken to design and implement effective contact tracing strategies, advising that this was necessary to forestall a possible second wave of infections which is imminent due to possibility of community transmission of the virus.
He called on the governor to adopt modern approaches to the unfortunate situation in the frontline territories in the country, expressing confidence that these approaches though difficult were necessary to forestall the spread of the virus for the safety and well-being of the good people of Edo State.
He said the state government could mitigate the health and economic impact of such steps by making available facemasks and hand sanitizers to citizens and residents as preventive and precautionary measures as well as providing the necessary support in the form of palliatives, especially for the poor, the vulnerables and less privileged ones as a way of cushioning the expected effects of the socio-economic disruptions envisaged.