The Edo State government on Tuesday said it would commence the enforcement of its no vaccination card, no entry into all state government owned facilities, as from Wednesday (today).
The government said the measure was aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.
This is coming in spite of the order of a federal high court in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, which barred the state from the implementation of the policy.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Osamwonyi Irowa, who disclosed this at the daily press briefing on the virus, however, said that anybody who wanted access into any state government offices, must have his or her card to show the enforcers.
“If you have to enter the state secretariat you must have your vaccination card, we are going to implement this in all the key areas to ensure that we don’t have persons being infected because the other person is being difficult,” he said.
The commissioner said the first phase is targeted at state government facilities, noting that access to government locations across the state would be based on the vaccination cards.
“Those that cannot provide their COVID-19 vaccination card 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 people don’t get infected.
“We are appealing to our people to get vaccinated because that is the most suitable way of preventing the severity of the disease when you have it and also avoiding death. The enforcement team will commence work tomorrow (today)as a way to help us reduce the number of cases and deaths we are recording daily, he said.
In his contribution, the head of the state’s COVID-19 regulation enforcement team, Yusuf Haruna, said the state government had trained 20 special teams that would be spread across the state to commence the enforcement.
“As we all know, the government has the responsibility to protect the lives and properties of its 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 but the government 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 card access to their working places and those without can go back and work from home and the government will know how to deal with all of that,” Mr Haruna said.
He added that the 20 special teams will be saddled with the responsibility of scanning and confirming the authenticity of these vaccination cards and also ask those who don’t have it to go and work from home. “This is the directive of the state government and this will be enforced to the letter.”
Earlier, the head of the state’s Coronavirus Case Management, Ebomwonyi Osagie, said the state had recorded a total of three deaths within the last 24 hours.
“So far, a total of 467 samples were collected, with a total of 1,034 confirmed cases, 638 active cases and 31 new cases, he said.
The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had on 31 August granted an exparte order restraining the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, from enforcing the order mandating all residents of the state to get vaccinated for Covid-19.
Mr Obaseki had prior to the court order warned that any resident who failed to get vaccinated would not be allowed access to worship centres, banks and other public places in the state.
A coalition of civil societies in the state had earlier staged a protest round the state before approaching the court to file an action.