By Celestine Ajayi
…Says Lagos Cannot Afford To Relax Battle against Coronavirus
Following the second wave of COVID-19 in Nigeria and increase in number of coronavirus cases in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has banned carnivals, concerts and street parties in the State until further notice.
The Governor also returned the order restricting the operations of churches and mosques in the State, adding that no gathering must exceed 50 per cent of the maximum capacity of the venue.
He also directed all public servants from Grade Level 14 and below, except emergency workers and first responders, to work from home for the next 14 days starting from next week Monday in the first instance.
Governor Sanwo-Olu in a personal letter to Lagosians issued on Friday after a virtual Executive Council meeting on issues around the resurgence of COVID-19 and how to tackle it said Lagos State cannot afford to relax the battle against COVID-19 and therefore appealed that it should be tackled as serious matter.
Speaking about the present state of his health, Governor Sanwo-Olu, who tested positive to COVID-19 last week, said “Regarding my health, I am glad to inform you that I am getting better by the day, and all will surely be well. I thank Lagosians for their prayers and overwhelming kind thoughts. I am, indeed, very grateful.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who advised Lagosians to use the festive season to spend quality time in small but controlled gatherings with family and friends in the spirit of the season, warned that the State Government will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law to bear on any person or organisation caught breaching public health regulations and protocols with regards to the Coronavirus disease.
He said: “The Lagos State Government is now sounding a clear note of caution to all residents on the importance of maintaining the guidelines that we have put in place to protect us from the ravages of COVID-19. We cannot afford a reversal of the gains we have made against this pandemic.
“The following measures must be noted and complied with: All public servants from GL 14 and below, except emergency workers and first responders, are to work from home as from Monday, December 21st for the next 14 days – in the first instance. All schools must shut down with immediate effect, and until further notice.
“Concerts, carnivals and street parties are banned in Lagos State until further notice. Night clubs have not been allowed to open yet. All night clubs in Lagos must immediately shut down, until further notice. The midnight to 4am curfew imposed by the Federal Government remains in place.
“The protocol of ‘No Mask No Entry’ must be enforced by all public places: Offices, Businesses, Markets, Shops, and so on. Hand sanitizers or hand washing units are to be positioned at the entry point and various spots.
Governor Sanwo-Olu stressed further that: “All places of worship (Churches, Mosques, etc.) must ensure that no gathering exceeds two hours and also that no gathering exceeds 50 per cent of the maximum capacity of the venue.
“Health, Safety and Environment Officers must be present at all public gatherings (religious or social) and must be trained in basic first aid procedures.
“The Safety Commission has been directed to visit event centres and gauge compliance with the established guidelines, to stop the virus from spreading. If there is evidence of lack of compliance at any Event Centre, it will be shut down immediately.
“Security agents have been mandated to ensure full enforcement, without exception. No one will be deemed to be above the law. Any and all breaches of these regulations and public health protocols will lead to immediate closure as well as attract heavy fines, and any other sanctions and penalties deemed fit, in line with the Lagos State Infectious Diseases Control Regulation 2020.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu while advising Lagosians to step up the battle against COVID-19, especially during the festival seasons, said: “Christmas is a commemoration of this supreme act of sacrifice by God. The least we can do in this Season is to emulate that spirit of sacrifice, by abiding with difficult but necessary protective guidelines, for the greater good of all of us.
“This is certainly not the time to lower our guard against the Coronavirus; it is instead time to step up our battle against this stubborn virus that has gripped the world for several months now.”
“Dear Lagosians, you will all agree with me that we cannot afford another lockdown of the economy. Amidst an economic recession we must find a way to delicately balance the imperatives of life and livelihood. With this in mind, the only solution available to us is to take responsibility for all our actions, and to understand that we must stay safe not only for ourselves but for the sake of the entire society.
“The Lagos State Government is now sounding a clear note of caution to all residents on the importance of maintaining the guidelines that we have put in place to protect us from the ravages of COVID-19. We cannot afford a reversal of the gains we have made against this pandemic.
“Fellow Lagosians, Let us take responsibility for the welfare and safety of all while we enjoy the festive season with friends and families. It is important that as a community we strictly abide by the regulations in the context of a global pandemic, without prejudicing our efforts to keep the economy running and maintain our means of livelihood to a sufficient extent.”