A lot of argument and counter argument had been flying around following the 30 latest cases of COVID-19 in Oyo State. Governor Seyi Makinde announced 31 new cases in the late hour of Saturday 16th of May, 2020, wherein 30 of the new cases are employees of one company. People have genuine fear, and this is not the time to play politics. On keeping the name of the company involved hidden from the public, government might have acted in the best interest of both the public and the company.
If the company involved is a manufacturing company, the stigma effect of naming the company may live beyond the pandemic era, and such may permanently damage a reputation built over some years for the company in one part, in another part, all the relatives of the workers in this company (either tested positive or otherwise) may also suffer stimatization at the hands of those who know about their family members working therein. Of course, people can argue it is not like this in other clime, that’s perfectly right! In that other clime, people play, eat and live with people with HIV without stigmatization, is it same here? Until we learn how to domesticate and localize both our developments and approaches to issue, simple solutions to problem will keep eluding us.
I am aware that the company involved is an outfit providing services to two giant telecom companies and it’s owned by foreign nationals with it’s staff numbering about 100. I am sure, by now, the state Government might have commenced contact-tracing if we are to go by act of propriety and expediency. However, in the meantime, I would advise the handlers of Governor Seyi Makinde on Socia Media to do more in the area of public sensitization and orientation with the use of right word in disseminating message. The pronouncement of GSM yesterday asking people to exercise no fear and that the event is under control is a CLAIM that needs to be substantiated! It’s not enough to say this alone, effort must also be made to really inform the people why they don’t need to be panicked. Simply saying little about the company may douse the tension. If public is aware that the company involved is an high-end service company and not a manufacturing company that interacts and has large costumers that also retail product, little will be the fear they would exhibit.
With this development, Oyo state government needs to enforce certain Covid-19 regulations among the corporate companies across the state.
Let’s all be at alert and be cautious at this time of pandemic.
Let’s all stay safe.