Lockdown Order: ‘Do Not Panic,’ Sanwo-Olu Tells Lagos Residents

A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

 

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has urged residents not to panic following President Muhammau Buhari’s order restricting movement in the state.

According to the state governor, the restriction on movement is a tough decision but a necessary step in the battle for survival against the COVID-19 pandemic.

He disclosed this in a statement on Monday, saying despite the rising number of cases in the state, there was no cause for alarm.

“There is no need to panic. Even as the number of those infected is rising and our fear of community spreading is being confirmed by the cases that are being handled now, this is the time to be more focused on our responsibility in this battle. Let us continue to obey the simple rules prescribed by the experts.”

He maintained that the restriction will enhance chances of defeating Coronavirus by giving room for medical workers to deal with cases faster; contain the disease as those infected will be easily identified and isolated; enhance social-distancing while the restriction will prevent more people from contracting the disease.

“I would also like to address the fears of those who have expressed some security concerns about your places of work and shops during this restriction. I have directed the police and other security agents to ensure that there are no security breaches. They will ensure that criminals do not take advantage of this important measure,” Sanwo-Olu assured.

He saluted Lagos residents for their patience since measures to fight the Coronavirus were announced and added that Lagos State Government in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO), UNICEF, among other institutions, will stop at nothing to halt its spread.

The governor said, effective from 11pm, March 30th 2020, as announced by President Muhammadu Buhari, movement will be restricted in Lagos State for 14 days while only people rendering essential services, such as health workers, manufacturers and distributors of health equipment and drugs, food and water companies were expected to go out.

Also allowed to move are workers in telecommunications, petroleum distribution and retailing as well as power companies and the media, among others whose jobs cannot be handled at home”, he added.

Governor Sanwo-Olu advised those in the private sector, market leaders and traders to move out inflammable materials such as petrol, kerosene and others, from their offices and shops before the restriction begins at 11pm, urging them to also switch off all electrical and electronic appliances to stave fire incidents during the 14-day restriction.

COVID-19: Lagos Govt To Provide Staple Foods To 200,000 Households

 

The Lagos State Government has announced that it would be providing staple foods such as rice, beans, garri, pepper and water to the indigent and the most vulnerable in the society.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced this during a briefing on Friday, saying that it was part of efforts to cushion the effects of the 14-day stay-at-home directive, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the governor, this distribution of the “economic stimulus package” to the 200,000 is the first phase and is expected to last for a period of 14 days.

Read Also: Coronavirus Death Toll Now Over 25,000

“We have packaged dry food stimulus for about two hundred thousand families in the first instance for a household of husband, wife and about four children. We would be giving bags of rice, bags of beans, garri, bread, dry pepper and we are trying to see if we can add water and some elements of vitamin C. Each ration, we believe is going to be able to last them at least minimum 14 days just so our advocacy around the stay at home, stay with your loved ones will be respected,” Sanwo-Olu said.

“This is a catalytic initiative of our administration with the hope that well-meaning corporate organisations and private individuals can step up to complement the efforts of the government”.

Meanwhile, the governor also announced that food banks will be provided at the various local governments starting from Saturday, March 28, 2020, to ease commuting of people to markets to get basic daily needs.

As the number of confirmed cases in the state has risen to 44 and a total of 65 in the country, the governor urged residents to refrain from gathering or congregating in order to reduce the risk of further spread.

In an earlier briefing on Tuesday, the governor stated that the accepted maximum for any congregation is 25 persons.

While civil servants in the state have been ordered to stay at home, to reduce the number of people out on the roads, the governor urged private sector organisations to allow their non-essential staff to also work from home or resort to online services where possible.

Sanwo-Olu Orders Closure Of Lagos Markets

 

The Lagos State Government has ordered the closure of all markets except those selling essential commodities such as foodstuff, water, medical supplies, amongst others.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, made the announcement on Tuesday during a press briefing, and it is to take effect from Thursday, March 26.

“All markets and stalls except those selling food items, water, medicines, pharmacies, medical equipment and other related essential life-saving products are hereby directed to close effective from Thursday, March 26th, 2020 for seven days at the first instance,” he said.

In the same vein, “All fast foods, eateries, restaurants are enjoined to serve takeaway for all their customers with no in-dinning service permitted whatsoever.

“Shops in malls that are not selling any of these initially mentioned essential daily needs are all meant to close down from Thursday”.

According to the governor, the compliance of this directive will be fully enforced by all security operatives.


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Lagos Issues Fresh Restrictions, Bans Gathering Of Over 25 People

COVID-19: How We Plan To Implement Social Distancing In Lagos Markets, Transport System – Sanwo-Olu


 


He, however, explained that more shopping channels would be opened within communities so that people can easily purchase daily essentials.

“We are trying to extend some of our shopping channels by using some of our open spaces in some of our closed schools, …meaning that we want to open up more markets for people to have more access to food and essentials.

“This will start in two days time (Thursday March 26) and we will tell you where these markets will be in these new school spaces”.

The governor also urged all residents of the state to refrain from gatherings or congregations of any kind at all times and keep the limit of any gathering at 25.

“Where it is absolutely necessary for people to gather, we’re changing that directive effective from Thursday, from 50 to 25”.

He also urged all private sector organisations to as much as possible, allow their staff work from home, except those offering essential services.

“We want to implore the organised private sector to encourage as many of their workers as possible to work from home, banks and other institutions are encouraged to prioritize online channels for their services to the public with only essential staff being in the office,” the governor said.

Lagos Issues Fresh Restrictions, Bans Gathering Of Over 25 People

 

The Lagos State Government has issued fresh restrictions as it scales up efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

At a briefing on Tuesday, the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced that the previous restriction of 50 persons in any gathering has further been reduced to 25.

“Let us refrain from gatherings or congregations of any kind at all times and where it is absolutely necessary for people to gather, we’re changing that directive effective from Thursday, from 50 to 25,” the governor said.

According to him, the number of cases in Lagos had jumped from 19 on Sunday to 29 on Tuesday bring the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 42.

He, however, noted that the cases in Lagos are all in stable condition as they are being quarantined in the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba.

Read Also: Confirmed Cases Of COVID-19 In Nigeria Rise To 42

“All of our confirmed cases are at the infectious diseases hospital in Yaba and I am pleased to note that all of them are doing well and are in stable condition.

“We’ve identified other isolation centers across the five divisions meaning in Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu and Lagos Island.

“Infact, we are also preparing two locations in Gbagada and another one just by here at Onike, to ensure that we have a seamless coordinated approach to the quick identification and isolation of suspected cases without overwhelming what we have in Yaba,” the governor added.

Other measures being put in place include the shutting down of all markets and stalls except those selling food items, water, medicines, pharmacies, medical equipment and other related essential life-saving products.

The directive is to take effect from Thursday, March 26th, 2020 for seven days at the first instance.

COVID-19: How We Plan To Implement Social Distancing In Lagos Markets, Transport System – Sanwo-Olu

 

As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing becomes highly necessary, many Nigerians have raised concerns over how the new measure can be effectively implemented especially with the nation’s huge population.

In cities like Lagos State with an estimated population of over 20 million people, the questions on the lips of many revolve around “how to effectively implement social distancing, how to go to the market or how to commute from place to place without having body contact with people” – a task considered as almost impossible by many.

As the government makes frantic efforts to curb the spread of the virus, people have simply been advised to stay at home and limit their contacts with people.

But although restrictions have gradually been put in place in some places, activities across the country have not been completely shut down, leaving individuals and private business owners at liberty to go about their businesses.

So far, markets, as well as the public transport system currently prove to be one of the highest risk points but the Lagos State government has assured residents that steps are being taken to minimise such risks.

“We’ve had conversations with the heads of our markets from the Iya-oloja general to all of the market men and women and part of the things we have said to them is that they need to scale up their advocacy immediately,” the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu said during a statewide address on Sunday.

“They must ensure that even when people come to the market, they obey this self-isolation so today, we’ve called them and we’ve passed on this message to them.

“The commissioner for local government and chieftaincy has also been directed to go round again tomorrow”.

Speaking about the transport system, the governor noted that officials of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) had been instructed to ensure that the BRT buses which have a capacity of 47 passengers, should only carry sitting passengers.

“At the various bus stops and buses, like I mentioned to you on Friday, we are working with the NURTW to ensure that it is only sitting passengers that are carried.

“People should not be standing on those buses. It has a capacity of 47 passengers, that is the maximum and it stays within our limit of 50 people in a gathering which keeps it safe and secure,” the governor said.


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Earlier on in his address, he had announced a stay-at-home order for all public officers from Grade level 1 to 12 over the next 14 days as part of precautions to curb the spread of the virus.

According to him, once this is implemented, considering the fact that public officers make up over 70% of the entire public workforce, it significantly reduces the number of people on the roads to start with.

“If I can stop over 70% of my staff from coming to work, it means that I have taken a sizeable number off the roads,” the governor said.

Lagos Gives Stay-At-Home Order To Civil Servants Over Coronavirus

The Lagos State Government has asked public officers from Grade level 1 to 12 to stay at home for the next 14 days as part of precautions to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease.

“I’m now hereby directing that all public officers in the entire unified public service from grade level 1 to 12 which constitutes about 70% of our entire public workforce should stay at home from Monday 23rd March 2020 for 14 days at the first instance. We will review this as time goes on,” the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said on Sunday during a statewide address.

“Members of the public are advised to refrain from visiting any of our public offices and to transact such businesses as is possible that we can do this on the phone or online channels”.

However, he continued by saying: “This stay-at-home (order) does not affect any of our first responders, meaning the medical personal are still meant to be at their duty posts, the fire service, members of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LAWMA and other essential services are not affected by this directive”.

While reiterating that all measures are being put in place to curb the spread of the virus, Sanwo-olu urged residents to maintain the social distancing culture.

Read Also: Abuja Records One New Case Of Coronavirus, Bringing Total Number To 27

“In terms of proactive measure we are taking to curb the spread of the disease, we have shut down all public and private schools and institutions of higher learning and we have also instructed that we should not allow congregation gatherings of more than 50 people at any time”.

The governor thanked Lagosians who have so far complied with the directive, stating that it is in no way meant to deprive anyone of their freedom.

While fielding questions from journalists, the governor noted that all those who are found violating the rules will be sanctioned and the facilities where whatever gatherings are being held (be it cinemas, religious centres or events), will be shut down by security personnel.

Meanwhile, he also reiterated that all those who have just returned from foreign trips must self-isolate for 14 days to be sure that they are free of the virus.

Lagos State Bans Religious Gathering Of Over 50 People

 

The Lagos State Government has banned all religious gathering of over 50 people within the state.

The decision was arrived at on Wednesday after a meeting of the Lagos State Government with religious bodies in the state, because of the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the country.

The religious bodies include the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Muslim leaders.

Reading a communique after the meeting held at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi said the groups agreed that all large religious gathering of over 50 people should be suspended immediately.

He said the suspension would last for four weeks, with a necessary review carried out if need be.

Elegushi added that a committee had been set up to monitor the enforcement of the suspension to ensure that both Muslims and Christians in the state abide by the decision.

Read Also: Mikel Obi Leaves Turkish Club Over Coronavirus Fears

The 15-member committee comprises representatives of Muslims and Christians in the State.

Elegushi also said the meeting agreed that the state government should embark on massive sensitisation of people at the grassroots on the need to embrace proper hygiene.

He added that the meeting agreed that all health workers in the state should up their games in the battle against Coronavirus.

Elegushi stated that it was agreed that the Federal Government should shut down borders, especially land borders to checkmate the influx of foreigners into Lagos in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

The commissioner said the state government would immediately embark on massive sensitisation of residents to be more aware of the danger posed by the coronavirus.

Elegushi appealed to Lagosians to desist from handshaking and to always wash their hands with soap and water or make use of sanitisers.

Read Also: COVID-19: Reps Asks FG To Stop Open Worship

Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Oluwatoyin Abou-Nolla, said the action of the state government was commendable, urging all Muslim leaders to abide by the decision and to also make personal hygiene a priority.

The CAN Chairman, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola on the other hand, said the nation was at a critical point, stressing that since the outbreak of the coronavirus, Christians had been praying.

“We are at a critical moment in Nigeria, since we heard this, we have been praying. We have listened carefully to one another, particularly the government. The responsibility of every government is to protect the lives of the people,” he said.

“We must be proactive and take preventive measures. It is no longer the issue of religion but survival. We are going to accelerate the education of our people. We must listen to the instruction of the government and take the instruction seriously. We agree with the action of the government”.

Civil Societies Ask FG To Take Stringent Measures Over Coronavirus

A hospital employee wearing protection mask and gear shows a swab, a cotton swab for taking mouth specimen, used at a temporary emergency structure set up outside the accident and emergency department, where any new arrivals presenting suspect new coronavirus symptoms will be tested, at the Brescia hospital, Lombardy, on March 13, 2020.
Miguel MEDINA / AFP

 

Civil Society groups in Nigeria have expressed concerns that the country is being exposed to both visitors and returning Nigerians traveling from areas heavily exposed to the coronavirus.

According to them, the recent announcement that a third case has been diagnosed in Lagos calls for a more stringent measure in protecting our borders and managing movement in and out of Nigeria.

“We cannot and should not contemplate banning Nigerians from returning home in these difficult times, but it is obvious that it is time for drastic measures to protect our country and a fragile health system that has been neglected for too many years,” a statement by the group read.

“The Federal Government and states must recognise, like other countries that this is the most urgent of national security matters”.

They, therefore, called for some drastic steps to be taken immediately such as restricting to only essential travellers, those coming from any country overseas that has an on-going outbreak of coronavirus.

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“For both Nigerians returning home and any travelers deemed essential by the Nigerian government, there must be mandatory and closely monitored self-isolation or quarantine measures for at least two weeks,” the group said.

“NCDC should immediately receive funds that will be adequate for it to radically scale activities and make a major urgent investment in testing for coronavirus.

“State governments should move immediately to provide their own technical teams with adequate resources for an effective response to a health emergency and any state that has not acted yet should be pressured to do so immediately.

“Efforts should be put in place to closely monitor our land borders and ensure basic health protocols for prevention of coronavirus spread.

“Governments at all levels (Federal, state and local) should consider immediate measures to limit public gatherings and promote safe social contacts amongst citizens.”

They also called for adequate life insurance policies to be put in place for the frontline workers of the NCDC, State and Federal ministries to forestall any unnecessary losses of life.

At Least 17 Bodies Recovered, 25 Injured In Abule-Ado Pipeline Explosion

 

At least 17 bodies have been recovered, while 25 casualties are being treated for injuries from the pipeline explosion that rocked Abule-Ado area of Lagos state on Sunday.

This is according to the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, who gave preliminary reports in a statement.

He stated that the raging fire had displaced several residents who fled their abodes for fear of being caught up in the inferno.

There were a number of secondary explosions which have caused significant damage to multiple buildings including the levelling of a church to ground zero and the destruction of St Margaret’s girl’s hostel.

17 bodies have been recovered while 25 casualties are being treated for injuries on site.

READ ALSO: Abule-Ado Blast Triggered By Gas Explosion, Says NNPC

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Hakeem Odumosu, said that the explosion had nothing to do with terrorism or pipeline vandalism.

Confirming to Channels Television, Odumosu maintained that it was a human error and unsafe human activities that led to the explosion.

Also giving updates on the tragedy, the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital in a statement, revealed that a total of 55 persons were attended to made up of 36 school children and 19 adults.

The statement added that one of the adults had about 35 per cent mixed degree burns with inhalation injuries and pulmonary edema, stating that the victim has been admitted into the Intensive Care Unit and connected to a ventilator.

Seven other adults and two children are on admission in the Wards. Two adults had Traumatic Brain Injury and were referred to LUTH for neurosurgical intervention. The remaining 43 have been treated and discharged.

Three people were brought in dead – two females and a Male, the statement read in parts

Abule-Ado Explosion: Make Safety Your Priority, Sanwo-Olu Tells Residents

(File) Lagos State Governor, Babjide Sanwo-Olu gives an update on the index case Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) recorded in the state on February 18, 2020.

 

Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has advised residents to make safety their priority, while urging them to maintain a safe distance from the scene of the explosion and fire as the site is still live.

Residents in Abule-Ado area of the state were thrown into a sad mood on Sunday morning as a blast occurred after a truck hit some gas cylinders stacked in a gas processing plant located near the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) System 2B pipeline right of way.

At least 15 bodies were recovered with about 55 people sustained some level of injuries.

READ ALSO: Abule-Ado Blast Triggered By Gas Explosion, Says NNPC

Houses and properties were not spared as cars and buildings were damaged by the resultant blast.

In a statement on Sunday by his Chief Press secretary, Gboyega Akosile, the Governor had instructed the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) to immediately release protective equipment to the affected site to prevent any form of medical hazard such as respiratory infections by the residents who may unknowingly inhale toxic substances from the explosion.

The Governor noted that in a situation like this, there would be a lot of unhealthy substances, gas particulate matters that can affect people’s lungs.

Governor Sanwo-Olu, however, reiterated the need for the residents to maintain a safe distance as practicable to avoid breathing in polluted air.

At Least 15 Dead, Children Trapped As Explosion Rocks Lagos Community

 

At least 15 bodies have been recovered while rescue operations are ongoing after an explosion occurred at the Abule-Ado area of Festac town in Amuwo Odofin Local Government area of Lagos State.

Spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the casualty figures to Channels Television on Sunday.

Farinloye said that the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained and efforts are ongoing to rescue some children that are reportedly trapped under some collapsed buildings in the affected area.

We have gotten about 15 bodies recovered and there are reports of children and their principal being involved, but we cannot give the figures out now because there are many factors with revealing children involved in an accident, so we are keeping it for the safety of the children.

We are trying to rescue a child that the owner informed me, is trapped under the rubble, an excavator has gone in to move the rubbles.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Blast Wreaks Havoc In Lagos Community

 

The NEMA spokesman explained that the cause of the explosion will be investigated by The Nigeria Police Anti-Bomb Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team.

We are still on the emergency phase to put out the fire and all hands are on deck. Next, we will carry out investigations.

Initially, there was a blast, after the explosion, we learnt the pipeline gutted fire.

Cause of the fire is not ascertained now; the explosion that came was so loud that it was heard about 10 kilometres away from here, so for us to have that, means something must have happened and if it is pipeline explosion, I don’t think it would have affected this range of buildings.

Investigations will be done by the appropriate agencies; the police EOD, he added.

179 Contacts On Isolation For Coronavirus Released In Lagos, Ogun

 

The Lagos State Government says all the one hundred and seventy-nine people on isolation who had contact with the coronavirus index case in Nigeria, have been released.

Out of the 179 people who had contact with the index case, 40 of them were quarantined in Ogun State while the rest of them were monitored in Lagos State.

According to the state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, since the 179 contacts persons with the Italian had exceeded the mandatory 14 days isolation, they have been released because none of them developed any symptom of the disease.

Professor Abayomi said the index case still remains on admission, but still perfectly well.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Second Coronavirus Patient Tests Negative – Health Minister

However, the state government is still keeping him under isolation because he still has some secretion of the virus. And will conduct another test within 48 hours after and if he is still negative, we will set him free.

“We are close to discharging the index case, we want to be sure he poses no danger to society anymore.”

On the Nigerian who was initially tested positive to Coronavirus for being in contact with the index case, Abayomi said he had now been tested negative twice and might have been released by now.

He said those isolated in Ogun State have been discharged. And the four children and their teacher quarantined have also been discharged as they all tested negative to the virus, as well as the man from the US who was earlier quarantined.