COVID-19: Ogun orders border closure

The Ogun State Government has directed that borders with neighbouring states and the international border with the Republic of Benin be closed for two weeks in the first instance.

The closure is expected to take effect from 12 midnight on Sunday, March 29.

According to a statement signed by the chief press secretary to Governor Dapo Abiodun, Mr Kunle Somorin, the order will restrict movement in and out of the state, as a further measure to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

The statement said the state is constrained to effect the border closure in order to stem and flatten the curve of the spread of the dreaded coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, not only in the state but in the country and in the West African sub-region.

“The position of Ogun State is peculiar. It not only shares an international border with the Republic of Benin, but it also does so with all other states in the South-West (except Ekiti), including Lagos State, which has understandably recorded the highest number of infections in the country largely because it hosts the busiest air and seaports and it’s the nation’s economic capital.

“The border closure will not only be beneficial to Ogun State but the national efforts to curtail and contain the virus. Lessons from other climes strongly indicate that closure of borders has the potential to drastically flatten the curve of spread whilst unrestricted movement portends grave dangers,” the statement added.

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The only exceptions to the interstate restrictions are vehicles conveying personnel involved in essential services such as security agencies, health workers, food and medical items and petroleum products.

The statement enjoined citizens to fully cooperate with the security agencies who have been fully briefed and directed to effect the border closure, noting that at this period of a global pandemic and national emergency all hands must be on deck to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

The border closure and other measures would be reviewed from time to time, in response to developments as they unfold, the statement concluded.


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