Bisi Oladele, Ibadan
Bank Automated Teller Machines (ATM), open markets at Bodija, Gbagi, Agbeni and Alesinloye as well as pharmacy stores witnessed a surge of crowd across Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on Thursday as residents embarked on stocking their homes with food and other basic items in preparation for possible total lockdown in Oyo State.
The development may have been partly fuelled by payment of March salary by the Oyo State Government. Governor Seyi Makinde has been paying salaries on 25th of every month.
When our reporter visited Bodija market at about noon on Thursday, the market was fully crowded while the roads leading to it were almost locked down in traffic. Market women were busy all through the day serving customers who also defied an early evening rain to beat possible announcement of lockdown in the state.
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The panic is also clearly motivated by the decision of some states to close markets, borders and offices as coronavirus pandemic rages in the country.
A customer told The Nation that only people who can not raise money will sit at home doing nothing in the present circumstance. He said nobody can predict what happens the next minute as governors rush to contain further spread of the virus in their different states, using all means possible.
A pharmacist also told The Nation that the prices of hand sanitizers, nose masks and other products that can be used to make sanitizers have doubled in the last 10 days due to high demand. Residents are making conscious efforts to protect themselves from the deadly virus.
There is only one confirmed case of coronavirus in Oyo State. The patient is isolated in one of the facilities provided by the state government. He is said to be responding well to treatment.
In his latest efforts at containing further spread of the virus, Makinde announced new measures Wednesday evening. They include guidelines for public transportation and closure of government offices to enable civil servants stay at home for the next two weeks.