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Osun State government screens foreigners at mining sites

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Worried by the impact and global spread of coronavirus, the Osun State Government has begun screening of foreigners at mining sites as proactive and preventive measures to forestall spread of the disease to the state.

It cautioned miners at various sites to maintain quality control and prevent substances from solid minerals from polluting sources of water in the state.

This followed fears being expressed by citizens that the activities of miners had caused serious pollution to Osun River.

Investigations revealed that in the past four weeks, water in the river had turned brownish, a development that raised fears that chemical substances emanating from mining activities might have crept into and polluted the river.

River Osun flows into the state’s waterworks, a major dam that supplies water to Osogbo, Ede and other communities.

The screening was championed by the state Ministry of Health as part of government’s strategy to check the influx of foreigners and illegal miners into the state perceived to be the source of the spread of coronavirus.

Commissioner for Health, Dr. Rafiu Isamotu said the exercise held at some mining sites at Ife South Council Area was aimed at mapping out the Chinese foreigners and other immigrants to ensure that the state was free from the dreaded Coronavirus and other epidemic diseases ravaging the world.

He, however, stated that the foreigners were thoroughly examined and none was infected with the disease.

Also speaking, Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Health, Siji Olamiju, said the action was in furtherance of government’s commitment to stem the epidemic in the state as Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s administration was determined to promote quality healthcare delivery.

He said, “We are here in line with our strategy to map out the Chinese foreigners who could be the source of contamination with our people on coronavirus. Our aim is not to stigmatise them, but to prevent those who might have been infected from spreading the virus.”

Olamiju noted that the exercise on the containment of coronavirus had uncovered another public health challenge caused by illegal mining, adding that the state government would not tolerate any form of irresponsible mining capable of causing environmental degradation.


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