From Gbenga Olarinoye, Osogbo
The Osun State government has embarked on foreigners’ assessment exercise of mining sites as proactive and preventive measures to forestall the spread of dreaded Coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19 to the State.
The exercise which was championed by the leadership of the State Ministry of Health was part of the government’s strategies to curtail the influx of foreigners and illegal miners into the state who were perceived to be the source of the spread of the disease.
Addressing journalists during the campaign exercise to some of the mining sites at Ogbagba community in Ife-South Local Government Area, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu said the exercise was aimed at mapping out the Chinese foreigners and other immigrants in order to ensure that the state is free from the dreaded Coronavirus and other epidemic disease ravaging the world.
He added that the foreigners were thoroughly examined and none was detected to be infected with the coronavirus or any other disease.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Pharmacist Siji Olamiju, said the action was in furtherance of the government’s commitment to stem the tide of epidemic diseases in the state as the administration of Governor Adegboyega Oyetola was determined to promote quality healthcare delivery.
“We are here in line with our strategies to mapping out the Chinese foreigners who could be source of contamination with our people on this dreaded disease called Coronavirus. our aim is not to stigmatise them but to prevent those who might had been infected with Coronavirus from spreading the virus”
Olamiju disclosed that the exercise on the containment of Coronavirus had uncovered another public health challenge caused by illegal mining, adding that the government of Oyetola will not tolerate any form of irresponsible mining capable of causing environmental degradation.
He said ” the entire community has been destroyed by acid drilling caused by illegal and irresponsible mining where heavy metals find their ways into the rivers or water that people drink which can cause serious public health challenges.
“What we have seen here is not suitable and the government under the leadership of Governor Oyetola will not tolerate environmental damage of this magnititude. The government will ensure that miner go about their business responsibly”, he added.