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Obaseki threatens sanctions on people who refuse to take COVID-19 vaccines

The governor is also considering locking down the state to curb the spread of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 pandemic.

• September 1, 2021
Edo governor Godwin Obaseki
Edo governor Godwin Obaseki [Photo credit: Premium Times]

Edo governor Godwin Obaseki has insisted on sanctions for people who refuse to take COVID-19 jab.

Mr Obaseki says his government’s directive on no access to public places without being vaccinated still stands while speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Benin.

The Edo State government had announced plans to make it compulsory for residents to take COVID-19 vaccine and present proof before accessing public places from the second week of September.

Mr Obaseki also threatened to impose a lockdown, if residents failed to follow the directive and comply with COVID-19 protocols in order to halt the spread of the Delta variant of the pandemic.

“The attention of the Edo government has been drawn to an order by a High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers directing the government to maintain the status quo on the purported compulsory COVID-19 vaccination for citizens.

“To the best of our knowledge, the order is, at best, speculative and preemptive, as the scheduled date for the commencement of enforcement of the directive is the second week of September.

“We want to reiterate that our directive on vaccination stands,” Mr Obaseki said.

He urged those planning social, religious, political or business events after the second week of September to ensure that both themselves and their guests were not only vaccinated but possessed vaccination cards as proof.

“Anyone without this proof will not be granted access to crowded facilities,” he said.

The governor also said that the government was commencing intensive enforcement of use of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to curb the current spike in COVID-19 infections and deaths.

“It must be stated that there is an obvious misconception that the directive issued by the government was to make vaccination compulsory for all citizens.

“Although the governor has the power to make such an order under the Gazetted Quarantine Regulations, this directive is actually only a denial of access to public places of persons who chose not to be vaccinated,” he said.

According to Obaseki, the government’s overriding concern is the safety and health of the citizens.

He stated that the positivity rate (CPR) for COVID-19 hovered between 15 and 25 per cent, adding that deaths were consistently being recorded daily, with unvaccinated persons accounting for 100 per cent.

Edo state has recorded over 5,402 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 195 related deaths (the second highest in the country), as of Wednesday, according to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.

(NAN)

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