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Ebola:Tourists face screening at Osun festival

26 August 2014, 16:00

Osogbo -The Osun Commissioner for Environment, Prof. Bukola Oyawoye, said all roads leading to Osun Groove would be barricade on Friday to screen tourists for Ebola virus.

Oyawoye said in Osogbo that three centres had been established for the screening of tourists against Ebola virus.

According to her, health workers have been directed to man the centres and screened people with the aid of infra-red equipment before granting them access to the groove.

Also read:Ebola fears hit Osun Osogbo festival

The commissioner said the measure became necessary to keep Osogbo people and tourists save from Ebola spread.

She said Ebola was a contagious disease, adding that people were vulnerable during the festival because of crowd.

She said that necessary consultation had been made with the stakeholders to crave their understanding and cooperation during the celebration.

"We have warned people who do not have specific business in the groove to steer clear because the grand procession is exclusive for the kings, chiefs, the votary maid, and others. The government has advised people to watch the proceedings from the comfort of their homes as the programme will definitely come up live on the TV,’’ she said.

Also read: ‘Ebola cannot stop Osun Osogbo festival’

Meanwhile, mixed reactions have continued to trail the restriction order, while some applauded the action, others berated the decision, describing it as unnecessary.

Dotun Osuntokun, a culture expert, commended the government for being proactive to protect the people of the state against the deadly virus.

He said the litmus test of good leadership was the ability to identify problem before it became an emergency.

According to him, when people are alive, there is always an opportunity to celebrate to the fullest without hindrance.

Similarly, Gbonjubola Adubi, enunciated the rationale behind the celebration which he described as the moment to pray to God for peace and good health through the goddess of Osun.

Adubi said that it would be counter-productive if people tend to endanger their lives in the course of praying for peace and good health.

However, an exhibitor at the groove, Rebecca Ajayi, described the restriction as unnecessary, adding that the assemblage of people at the groove would not pose danger to people.

Ajayi suggested that government screen only the tourists that were coming from places where there were reported cases of outbreak of the disease.


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