The Lagos State government is considering the imposition of curfew, as part of efforts to curtail the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu revealed this during a press conference on Friday while giving an update on the disease.
“Are we moving in the direction of curfew soon? Yes, we are,” he said in response to a question on the restriction of movement in Lagos.
He, however, explained that the state government has yet to make the proclamation as certain indices were being expected.
The governor noted that the state government would not hesitate to take the decision to shut down activities if the need arises.
He said, “There are indices that need to happen; there are numbers that we need to see for us to know that we need to shut down everywhere, but we have not seen that number.
“As we are having cases coming in, we are also excited because we are seeing a very positive response and patients also at the edge of being discharged and that for us shows that there are some balances coming in.”
Watch the full video of the governor’s briefing below:
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate release of N15 billion to the Lagos State government and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to tackle the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, the President explained that the approval followed the extensive briefings he received recently on the state of the nation, as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic.
He ordered that the sum of N10 billion grant be immediately released to Lagos State to boost the government’s capacity to control and contain the outbreak, as well as support other states with capacity-building.
The remaining N5 billion, according to the President, is to be paid as a special intervention fund to the NCDC to equip and provide personnel to its facilities and laboratories across Nigeria.
He revealed that the Nigerian Air Force was already making its fleet available to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, to enable a better coordinated and more effective response.
President Buhari said the initial closure of the nation’s international airports and land borders for four weeks was to ensure that appropriate policies, processes, and infrastructure were in place to cope with suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country.
He, however, regretted the inconvenience caused by the flight and travel restrictions to Nigerians abroad willing to return home, stressing that it was for the greater good.
The President thanked all medical personnel in the country for their efforts in curbing the spread of the disease.
He also urged Nigerians to be mindful of those he said were taking advantage of the present situation to spread panic and cause confusion.
Read the President’s remarks below:
Over the last few days, I have received extensive briefings on the state of the nation as it relates to the Covid-19 pandemic, from the relevant Federal Government agencies as well as the Lagos State Government.
Accordingly, I approved the following:
The immediate release of a 10 billion Naira grant to Lagos State, which remains the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in Nigeria. This grant will enable Lagos to increase its capacity to control and contain the outbreak, while also supporting other States with capacity-building.
The immediate release of a 5 billion Naira special intervention fund to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to equip, expand and provide personnel to its facilities and laboratories across the country.
The Nigerian Air Force is already making its fleet available to the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, to enable a better coordinated and more effective response across the country.
To protect our homeland from external exposure, I directed the immediate closure of our International Airports and Land Borders for four weeks in the first instance, to enable us to put up the appropriate policies, processes and infrastructure to cope with suspected and confirmed cases at home, without risking a compounding of the situation with more imported cases.
The inconvenience caused by these flight and travel restrictions to our fellow citizens abroad who want to return home is regrettable, but it is necessary for the greater good, and I thank you all for your understanding and cooperation.
I have also directed that only cargo vessels that have been at sea for more than 14 days be allowed to dock in our ports after the crew has been tested and confirmed disease-free by the Port Health Authorities.
This 14-day restriction, however, does not apply to vessels carrying oil and gas products as by their nature, there is minimal human contact.
We have also suspended the movement of commuter trains to limit the spread of the virus to other parts of the country.
I have directed the NCDC to draft all its recent retirees back into service to beef up our manpower as we respond to the pandemic.
Furthermore, all NCDC staff and experts who are away on training or international assignments are to return immediately.
Already the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) is conducting an evacuation mission to bring back some of our specialists in Central Africa, to enable them to support the national response.
I commend the monetary policy authorities for their financial intervention to support our entrepreneurs and companies as we go through this difficult time.
We are also looking at fiscal measures to minimise the negative impact of this pandemic on the livelihood of millions of Nigerians.
As you are aware we have begun the process of reviewing the federal budget. We shall communicate our fiscal interventions once the budget review process is concluded.
In the meantime, I have directed the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, to work with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), to ensure that all production of essential items such as food, medical and pharmaceutical products continues unhindered.
We are engaging our international friends and partners to share knowledge and to seek their support in our response to the pandemic. We are grateful for the show of support thus far – we have already started receiving goods and supplies intended to help us scale up our efforts.
Let me specially thank and commend all of the hard and heroic work being done by our medical personnel, the NCDC, Port Health Authorities, Security Agencies, State Governments, and all ad-hoc staff and volunteers.
I urge all Nigerians to be mindful of those among us who seek to spread panic and misinformation and sow confusion at this time.
We must all pay attention only to the relevant government agencies working day and night to make accurate and useful information available to the public.
I will also ask all of us to strictly obey all public health guidelines and instructions issued by the Federal and State health authorities, regarding personal hygiene and social distancing.
These guidelines will be updated from time to time as new information and treatments are obtained.
In the meantime, I want to assure all Nigerians, that the Federal Government remains committed to protecting all Nigerians. We seek your full support and cooperation as we go through this very difficult time. Together we will triumph over this pandemic.
The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed an emergency bill to help the state combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The bill, sponsored by the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, is tagged the Emergency Coronavirus Pandemic Bill 2020.
It affords the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the legislative concurrence to spend an initial N20 billion to effectively curtail the virus and enforce compliance by residents in the state.
The bill was presented on the floor of the chamber on Thursday by the Deputy Majority Leader, Noheem Adams, after which it scaled the first and second readings.
It was then passed to the House Committee on Health for further legislative actions.
The bill was later laid before the House by the Committee Chairman on Health, Hakeem Sokunle, after which it scaled the third reading as a result of the urgent requirements to ensure its speedy passage.
It gives the governor the opportunity to make recourse back to the House before any regulations.
The bill also stipulates a fine of N100,000 for defaulters, one-month imprisonment in the correctional centre, or three months community service.
Where the offence is not spelled out, it attracts N200,000 and also allows the leadership of the various arms of government to structure their own restriction format.
Section 8 of the bill makes provision for the Coronavirus Trust Fund, while the bill empowers the governor to declare a state of emergency of up to three months if the situation requires so.
In his remarks, the lawmaker representing Ikeja Constituency II, Adedamola Kasunmu, believes it is important to alleviate the impact of the virus on the economy of Lagos.
He noted that the bill would enable the executive to expend necessary funds to curtail the spread of the virus by providing adequate facilities in the state-owned hospitals.
Mr Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa II), in his contribution, said, “We urge Lagosians to bear with us. Pandemics are not new, but the way government and people react to it matters to 150 states in the world.
“Lagos recorded the first case, so they should look at the possibility to broaden it to capture much more.”
Another lawmaker, Rotimi Olowo (Somolu I), noted that the spread of the virus was unprecedented and as a result, stringent measures needed to be taken to forestall the pandemic.
Presiding over the plenary, Speaker Obasa said the contingency plan in the budget cannot sort out the current issue.
“Government needs to be seen doing something, making effective pronouncements. The governor can make recourse back to the House if need be.
“If the budget procedure takes much time that can’t suffice, the kick-off fund will help,” he explained.
“It is only when you are alive that you can talk about economics and finance,” the Lagos State governor added.
According to him, banks and other financial service providers should put more efforts at working online, urging them to let essential members of staff to work from the office.
He said: “Banks and other financial institutions are encouraged to prioritise online channels for their services to the public with only essential key staff being in the office during this time. Only key staff should be present.”
African nations have ordered curfews and lockdowns in response to the growing coronavirus epidemic, raising fears of turmoil for low-income workers and cash-strapped governments across the continent.
Cases have risen across the world’s poorest continent over the past week to a total of 2,137 and 62 deaths, according to an AFP tally, prompting countries to enact strict counter measures.
South Africa, the continent’s most developed economy — which at 554 cases has Africa’s largest outbreak — on Monday announced a nationwide lockdown.
“Without decisive action, the number of people infected will rapidly increase… to hundreds of thousands,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said at the time.
There are fears that weak health infrastructure in Africa will leave the continent particularly exposed to an outbreak on the scale of virus-stricken Europe.
Other countries are following suit with similar measures. More are expected to be announced in the coming days.
On Monday, Senegal and Ivory Coast both declared states of emergency and ordered night-time curfews.
Ivory Coast on Tuesday said it had recorded 73 coronavirus cases in total and would lock areas down progressively, depending on how the virus spreads.
Senegal has recorded 86 coronavirus cases to date, its health ministry said on Tuesday. Ivory Coast has 25 known coronavirus cases.
Ivory Coast PM in self-isolation
In a sign of coronavirus’ increasing reach, Ivory Coast’s Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly said on Twitter on Tuesday that he was in a self-isolation after coming into contact with a positive case.
As the virus spreads, there are also fears that poor and debt-saddled countries will unable to provide an adequate response.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Tuesday asked G20 leaders for $150 billion in emergency funding to deal with coronavirus, saying that it “poses an existential threat” to the economies of African countries.
He added that creditors should partly write off national debt for low-income countries.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France’s parliament on Tuesday that there would be a European financial aid package for poor countries fighting the virus.
“I’m thinking in particular about Africa,” he said.
‘How do we pay the rent?’
Adopting lockdowns and social distancing measures in poor African nations is also generating economic worries at the local level.
Homes are often overcrowded, and workers in the informal economy cannot self-isolate at home without abandoning their livelihoods.
Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organisation’s regional director for Africa, admitted these difficulties in a briefing with reporters last week.
She said such measures were “quite a challenge” and that the WHO is working on other approaches such as making hand sanitisers more widely available.
Locals are increasingly concerned as containment measures bite.
“They’re closing down the stalls, the restaurants, but how are we supposed to feed our families?” asked Nemy Fery, who runs a street-food stall in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s main city.
He added that he would try selling takeaway meals — and look for another job.
There are similar concerns in Muslim-majority Senegal, where the authorities were already struggling last week to enforce a ban on praying in mosques.
Sabah Amar, who works in a souvenir shop, said that Senegalese people “will die of hunger” before they succumb to coronavirus.
Several people interviewed by AFP in Dakar nonetheless said they supported the government’s coronavirus measures.
“I prefer that everything closes. We’re not selling anything anyway,” said Amar. “Otherwise we’re all going to die.”
In the north of the continent, Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli on Tuesday announced a two-week night-time curfew.
And in the east, cases have doubled in Rwanda, to 36, while South Sudan has closed its air and land borders, except for food and fuel supplies.
– Rising cases –
The archipelago nation of Cape Verde on Tuesday announced its first coronavirus fatality after a 62-year-old British tourist died.
Cameroon also recorded its first death — a man who had contracted the disease in Italy and tested positive on March 14, according to Health Minister Manachi Manaouda.
Four people have died in Burkina Faso, which is West Africa’s worst-hit country with 115 confirmed cases.
Countries that have announced strict containment measures are turning to the army to enforce them.
Military patrols in Senegal will ensure people respecting the dusk-to-dawn curfew, for example.
South Africa’s president has also said the army will enforce his country’s lockdown.
Nombulelo Tyokolo, 41, a domestic worker in Cape Town, who shares a one-bedroom shack with her son, told AFP she was worried about how the lockdown will work.
“I am scared, worried and panicking about 21 days indoors,” she said.
“We have to fetch water outside and go outside to the toilets. God have mercy.”
A 16-year-old girl accused of killing her father’s friend who allegedly attempted to rape her has been arraigned before an Ebute Meta Magistrate Court sitting in the Yaba area of Lagos State.
The young girl, a Senior Secondary School (SSS) three pupil, was arraigned by the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID) before Mrs A Adedayo of the Ebute-Meta Chief Magistrates’ Court.
The police brought her before the magistrate on a one-count charge of killing one Babatunde Ishola aged 51 years on March 7, 2020 at Nwadolu Street, Aboru in Alimosho area of the state by stabbing him to death with a knife and thereby committing an offence of punishable under Section 225 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2015.
The deceased was said to be employed as a guard at a school in the community and lived alone.
The teenager’s plea was however not taken but after listening to the application of the prosecuting police officer, Chief Magistrate Adedayo promptly remanded her at the Correctional Home For Girls in Idi-Araba.
She ordered the police to send a duplicate copy of the case file to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and adjourned till April 27 for DPP’s advice.
The State Office of the Public Defender (OPD), which is defending the teenager, did not oppose the proceedings.
The OPD has however assured the teenager of free and quality legal representation throughout the duration of the trial.
All participants at the African Magic Viewers’ Choice Award (AMVCA) are most likely to have been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Professor Akin Abayomi, stated this in a tweet on Tuesday.
He explained that the participants may have come in contact with one of the confirmed cases in Lagos at the hotel where the event held on March 14.
Abayomi, however, asked them not to panic but observe strict self-isolation in order to prevent possible further spread of the disease.
He also appealed to the participants to call the state government’s tollfree line – 08000corona – if they notice any of the COVID-19 related symptoms.
The commissioner urged residents of the state to play their part in the efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus by practicing social distancing.
Read the tweets below:
Attendees at the said event are therefo advised to: 1️⃣observe strict self- isolation. 2️⃣ call our #TollFree line 08000corona if they notice any of the #COVID19 related symptoms 3️⃣ Let’s #TakeResponsibility by practicing #SocialDistancing to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Lagos State government has commenced the enforcement of the preventive guidelines against COVID-19 in all construction sites in the state.
The Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, announced this in a statement on Monday.
He explained that the decision was important and in line with the government’s efforts to contain the spread of the disease.
Salako directed that no construction site must have more than 20 workers each day and all construction sites must make provision for washing of hand of all workers and visitors.
He also urged construction workers to observe social distancing of not less two metres and maintain good hygiene at all times, while the sites must have alcohol-based sanitisers for the use of workers and visitors.
The commissioner asked residents to report any construction site that does not comply with the guidelines and called for a joint effort to stop the further spread of the virus in the state.
“While we solicit for voluntary compliance in the interest of sound public health, the ministry and its agencies will not hesitate to immediately shut down any construction site found violating the directives of the state government in this regard,” he warned.
Three new cases of the #COVID19 have been confirmed in Lagos, Nigeria, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 30.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), made this known on Sunday, noting that two of the cases are returning travellers while the other one is a contact of a confirmed case.
According to the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, the first of the three cases is a Nigerian male, with a two-week history of dry cough, intermittent high-grade fever and general pains.
He was recently in Dubai for two weeks and has been on admission for three days with Chest X-ray and a CT scan, suggestive of pneumonia.
The second case is a Nigerian male without a travel history. He’s an asymptomatic contact (driver) of a known positive case, while the third case is a Nigerian female who returned from the United States on March 8, 2020.
The three new cases bring to eight, the total number of cases the NCDC confirmed today (Sunday) alone.
According to the NCDC, out of the 30, 28 are active while two have already been discharged.
A further breakdown shows that Lagos State now has 22 cases, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja has four, Ogun State has two, while Ekiti and Oyo states have one case each.
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.
While the Federal Government has shut down the Lagos and Abuja International Airports, several states such as Lagos, Ogun, and Kwara have banned large gatherings of more than 50 people.
The Lagos State government in addition to that, has announced a stay-at-home order for public officers from Grade level 1 to 12 for the next 14 days.
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, however, noted that “the 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”.
In a statement signed by spokesman, Bala Elkana, the police said the deployment was necessary in order to comply with “the guidelines and directives issued by both the Federal Government and Lagos State Government on the prevention” of the deadly coronavirus.
The police said commercial vehicles are expected to avoid overloading and advised members of the public to stay away from crowded spots such as “bus-stops, market places, business places and the scene of incidents.”
“We must be alive and healthy before socio-economic activities will be effective,” the police statement read.
Meanwhile, the Command said it has rolled out its medical team to market places for awareness creation and ordered the immediate release of suspects arrested for minor offences, apparently to avoid overcrowding in the jails.
“Together we can prevent the spread of Covid 19,” the Lagos police said.