Thousands of worshippers, devotees and tourists at the grand finale of the two-week-long Osun Osogbo festival in Osun State, on Friday, ignored the mandatory use of face marks and observance of social distancing.
Though the state government had said it would enforce the use of face masks and social distancing at the festival, the News Agency of Nigeria reported that worshippers and visitors violated the COVID-19 safety protocols.
On Friday, the Osun State Government, in a statement by its Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Mrs Funke Egbemode, said seven persons had died of COVID-19 in the last two weeks, while 74 cases were recorded within the period.
Expressing concern over the nonchalant attitude of residents to safety protocols, the government said it had become imperative for citizens to consciously take personal responsibility for their own safety because the third wave of the pandemic has berthed in the state.
The commissioner said, “In the last two weeks, the state has recorded 74 cases with seven mortality. We can no longer afford to treat our protection with levity. We must wear masks religiously and avoid crowded spaces like a plague. It is becoming more obvious that our lives depend on how well we adhere to safety protocols.
“Osun’s daily coronavirus case tallies and mortality rate are becoming alarming. The effects of the virus keep getting worse by the day because our compliance level is deplorable and alarming. Our people need to take responsibility for their own safety, by ensuring that they take the COVID-19 test to be sure of their status, especially when they feel ill.
“Let us leave no chance for costly assumptions and be deliberate about boosting our immunity. Partying and appearances at densely-populated locations has become dangerous all over. We are back to ground zero with the virus, and we cannot continue to pretend like it doesn’t exist. The current statistics signal a precarious situation.”
Data available on the website of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Friday showed that 753 new confirmed cases and five deaths were recorded on August 12, 2021 in 14 states, namely Lagos (364), Akwa Ibom (141), Oyo (74), Rivers (46), Abia (38), Ogun (24), Kwara (20), Imo (19), FCT (12), Ekiti (10), Delta (nine), Edo (six), Plateau (five), and Bayelsa (one).
To date, 180,661 cases have been confirmed and 2,200 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.