The Oyo State Task Force on COVID-19 on Wednesday activated three sites for COVID-19 samples collection in different communities in Ibadan.
The community testing initiative was intended to accommodate about 10,000 samples.
The community testing drive which was supervised by Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, began at the Alegongo Primary School, Lagelu West Local Council Development Area, Ibadan.
Olatubosun said that the community testing was free, and encouraged Oyo people to get tested when the team would reach their communities.
“Gov. Seyi Makinde’s administration believes that the health of the citizenry is paramount and that government would pursue with vigour, its commitment to the sound health of the citizenry.
“We are treating this as an emergency; no amount spent by government on this is a waste.
”We believe the citizenry will contribute meaningfully to the productivity of the state and, invariably, increase the gross domestic product of the state when they are healthy; by so doing, it will improve the economy of the state further.
“That is the reason we are doing everything possible to make sure that the people have access to medical care, most especially against anything that has to do with COVID-19,” he said.
He said that the task force started with selective testing and later engaged in Drive-Through/Walk-Through Testing at Adamasingba, where it advised the people to drive in and get tested.
“But we are reaching a stage where we have to go to the community, and that is why we are decentralising testing, which we call community testing.
“We are now moving to communities, local government areas. where we have encouraged people from all the communities to come out and get tested.
“The essence of this is that we cannot sit down somewhere and be assessing people.
” In figures, Oyo State is rated fourth or fifth but we have tested far more than many states.
“We are doing this to have adequate and exact data to work with and arrest the spread of the virus from the community level,” the commissioner said.
The Incident Manager of the state’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), Dr Taiwo Ladipo, said that the community testing drive was the response of the State COVID-19 Task Force to the rising number of cases in the state.
“We have 10 facilities across 10 local government areas and are targeting 10,000 people, but we are starting with three LGAs today.
”These are Ibadan South East, Ibadan Oluyole and Lagelu,” Ladipo said.