Multiple award-winning investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, has revealed how the failure of the COVID-19 response team in Oyo State to do their job led to the rapid increase in the number of recorded cases at iSON Xperience.

Soyombo, who revealed this in the latest edition of his #fisayocovid19series, explained that the COVID-19 team in the state were tipped-off twice in March about potential problems at the company as regards the prevention of the spread of the virus but they failed to act.
Soyombo, who is currently in the running to win the one world media International journalist of the year award wrote, “There are currently 78 COVID-19 cases at iSON Xperiences because a number of government agencies did not do their job. One of them is the Oyo State COVID-19 Emergency Response Team.
“Twice — on March 30 and again on March 31 — the team got a tip-off about potential problems at iSON. But it refused to act.
“On March 30, a good Ibadan resident had called the Oyo State COVID-19 Emergency Response Call Centre to notify them of the convergence of hundreds of staff at iSON, contrary to the state government’s ban on gatherings of more than 30 people. The complainant had specifically said the company just ran a shift of “over 200 persons” who had to apply their thumbprints to a machine before they’re allowed into the company’s premises”. He had warned that if one of them caught the virus and then put their thumb to the machine, hundreds of other staff could contract it while also applying their thumbprints.
“The male recipient of the call merely said: “No problem.”
“On March 31, the caller repeated the complaint. This time, the recipient was a lady who said: “I understand what you’re trying to say, but I advise that you should please get the number of the Oyo State Police Force. They are in the best position to handle cases like this.”
“The caller asked if he could be given any such Police contact, but the recipient said: “I don’t have that; we’re only responding to emergencies concerning COVID-19.”
“It is therefore inconceivable that after the first +ve case from iSON was confirmed, the authorities still allowed the company to continue operations for one full week before it was finally decontaminated and shut down.
“At least twice, the authorities have dropped the ball; but now they have a golden opportunity to prevent the damage from running deeper. As I write this, iSON’s management is pressuring staff who haven’t undergone COVID-19 testing to quickly do so — not for the sake of their wellbeing or their loved ones’ or the larger community’s, but just “so that work can resume as soon as possible”. The management of the company is already asking to know the agents who want to continue working from home and those who want to resume work at the office, never mind that its top managers have all been working from home since the start of the pandemic.”
He added that it is important for the Oyo State government to keep an eye on the company now because, considering the huge implications a massive outbreak of the virus would have on the rest of the society, their focus should be on the healthy well-being of staffs and not financial gains.