In a renewed effort to contain the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in Lagos, State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has read the riot act to residents.
With uncommon swag, he fired a warning shot: 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.
Sanwo-Olu in a statement issued on Friday and titled ‘We Cannot Afford To Relax The Battle Against Covid-19’, said that the government had noticed the public perception that the worst of the pandemic was over, adding that such thinking was “absolutely wrong and dangerous.”
The governor, who is also recovering from the virus, reeled out fresh directive for compliance by all Lagosians, as well as organisations, warning that strict compliance and enforcement would follow immediately.
He said the government had also noticed continuous flouting of the previous directives by event centres, entertainment centres, worship centres, as well as offices, businesses and markets.
He added that the state could not afford to fold its hands due to the yuletide season and watch the state lose the gains it had earlier recorded in fighting the deadly virus.
Sanwo-Olu said it had become increasingly clear that the State is recording an increase in COVID-19 cases in all Local Governments, revealing that of every 100 tests that the government now perform, an average of 10 turns out to be positive, representing an increase from the five per hundred recorded in September, a development that suggests the existence of active community transmission, and represents the very likely possibility of the emergence of a second wave in Lagos State.
Admitting that the State’s economy cannot survive another lockdown, amidst the current recession, he stressed that it had become imperative for every Lagosian to take responsibility for their actions and stay safe, not just for themselves, but for the entire society.
Sanwo-Olu, therefore, noted that going forward, all concerts, carnivals and street parties are banned in the State until further notice.
He also added that night clubs have not been allowed to open yet, hence, all night clubs in Lagos must immediately shut down, until further notice.
He also ordered all public servants from GL 14 and below, except emergency workers and first responder to work from home as from Monday, December 21st for the next 14 days – in the first instance, while directing all schools to shut down with immediate effect, and until further notice.
He added: “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.
“All Places of Worship (Churches, Mosques, etc.) must ensure that no gathering exceeds two hours, and also that no gathering exceeds 50% of the maximum capacity of the Venue.
“All Event Planners must obtain prior clearance from the Lagos State Safety Commission (www.lasgsafetyreg.com) for all events, and ensure that any planned gatherings do not exceed 300 people.
“Where the capacity of a Venue exceeds 300 and permission has been granted, the occupancy shall not be more than 50% of such a venue.
“Ample ventilation must also be maintained at all times in all Venues, and Deep cleaning of the premises must be carried out BEFORE and AFTER every event.
“A minimum of 2 meters’ distance should be maintained between seated or standing guests.
“All guests and service providers at events MUST wear nose masks/coverings before entry.
“Hand sanitizers or hand washing units are to be positioned at the entry point and various spots within the hall. Provision must be made for all guests and service providers to wash their hands before entering the venue or use hand sanitizers, as well as undergo a temperature check, which is mandatory.
“Guests and service providers with high temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team that must be present.
“Health, Safety and Environment Officers must be present at all public gatherings (Religious or Social) and must be trained in basic first aid procedures.
“All Events’ Staff must also be educated on recognising COVID-19 symptoms.”
The Governor added that officials of the Lagos State Safety Commission have 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.
“Event Centre Owners/Planners/Vendors will be responsible for any breach of protocols by their Staff.
“We will continue to closely watch the profile of the unfolding situation, while also awaiting updates and pronouncements from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. We will also keep working with the Presidential Task Force to ensure that the gains of the recent past are not frittered away on the altar of festivities and sheer carelessness. The lives of ALL Lagosians, including our elders and other vulnerable citizens, matter.
“Let us use this festive season to spend quality time in small but controlled gatherings with family and friends in the spirit of the season. This virus does not discriminate. We must TAKE RESPONSIBILITY, and not treat this pandemic with levity.
“Let me repeat, as I close, that we will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law to bear on any person or organization caught breaching our public health regulations and protocols with regards to the Coronavirus disease,” the Governor said.