Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu has directed that open markets, stores, high courts, magistrate courts, parks, playgrounds, and other recreational centers within the state be shut as measures to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease within the state from Thursday, 26 March, 2020.
Governor Sawno-Olu said this during a televised press conference which held on Tuesday that the measures were necessary because there had been an increase in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases nationwide with Lagos leading. He, however, said the state had been proactively and promptly tracking, isolating and managing the suspected cases; as well as the confirmed ones at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba.
“I am here again this afternoon to update you on the COVID-19 situation in Lagos State, as well as the latest steps we are taking to tackle this disease that has thrown much of the world into disarray.
“Since my last address to you on Sunday, March 22, 2020, we have seen an increase in the total number of confirmed cases nationwide with Lagos leading the pack with the most number of newly confirmed cases.
“Here in Lagos, we have seen a significant jump in our numbers from 19 as at the last time I addressed you on Sunday, to 28 as at today’s briefing. This shows that our numbers are increasing as predicted, but we are also proactively and promptly tracking, isolating and managing the suspected cases; as well as the confirmed ones at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba.”
The Lagos helmsman who said all the confirmed cases in the state were doing well and in stable condition, except the deceased one, also stated that his government had started identifying other isolation centres across the “ five divisional zones of Ikeja; Badagry; Ikorodu; Lagos Island and Epe to ensure that we have a seamless and coordinated approach towards the quick identification and isolation of suspected cases without overwhelming the mainland infectious diseases hospital in Yaba.”
Reeling out the new measures taken by his administration to stem the tide of the disease, the governor said: “Fellow Lagosians, today I have some further new directives and guidelines to share with you, as follows: The organized private sector is hereby encouraged to follow the steps of the public sector and allow as many workers as possible to work from home. Banks and other Financial Institutions are encouraged to prioritize online channels for their services to the public; with only essential and key senior staff being in the office during these times.
“The Chief Judge of Lagos State has been directed to ensure that all Magistrate and High Courts in Lagos State close immediately to the public and suspend all court sittings; and much as is possible, essential services should be transacted electronically.
“All public parks, including those in private and residential estates, swimming pools, gyms, beauty salons, and all such public places are expected to shut down at this time, until further notice.
“All open markets and stores are directed to close, except for sellers of food and medicines, medical equipment and other essential life-saving products. For those that fall into the aforementioned categories, it is imperative that they observe necessary precautionary measures of social distancing.
“I urge that all travel to and from Lagos, whether by air or by road, be avoided at this time. The Federal Government has already advised residents of Lagos and Abuja to stay put where they are, and I would like to reiterate this in the strongest terms possible. As much as possible let us all refrain from inter-state traveling of any kind, until the worst of the crisis is behind us.
“As already stated, and I reiterate again, let us refrain from gatherings or congregations of any kind at all at this time.
The governor however, said, the maximum number that could be at a gathering of any kind had been reviewed from 50 to 25.
He said that the administration would set up temporary food markets in schools.
The Governor urged Lagos residents to refrain from meeting friends, planning play dates, planning weddings or any other social event. He urged them to remain indoors and stay away from large gatherings as much as possible.
“Anyone caught flouting any of the above directives as well as the previously issued directives will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law,” Sanwo-Olu warned.
He further said that law enforcement agencies and other relevant Lagos State protection agencies “have been imbued with the power to deal with recalcitrant offenders.”