Sanwo-Olu orders closure of markets, stores in Lagos

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Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday ordered the closure of all markets and stores to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The closure commences from Thursday 26th March and would for seven days in the first instance.

The governor gave this order while giving updates on the COVID-19 situation in the state to State House correspondents at the Lagos House, Marina.

However, the governor exempted markets and stores that sell food, water, drugs and medical equipment and other related life- saving items from the closure order.

The governor said since his last address on Sunday, there had been 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.

“I am pleased to note that all our confirmed cases, bar the ones that have since been discharged, are doing well and are all in stable condition.

“As I mentioned, last time I spoke to you on Sunday, we are identifying other isolation centers across our 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.”

Sanwo-Olu reiterated his call on Organised Private Sector 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 governor reeled out other measures which includes:

“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.

He charged all those that fall into the aforementioned categories to 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; and where we must absolutely gather, the number of persons in the gathering MUST NOT EXCEED FIFTY (50) PERSONS.

“Now is not the time to be meeting friends, planning playdates, planning weddings or planning any other social event. Stay home and stay away from gatherings as much as you can help it!

“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. As I mentioned, law enforcement agencies and other relevant Lagos State protection agencies have been imbued with the power to deal with recalcitrant offenders. We will not relent in ensuring strict compliance with our directives.

While thanking Lagosians for compliance with the government directives so far, Sanwo-Olu said, “Lagos State has always shown incredible strength and resilience in the face of so many challenges; and this is what makes us different as a people. I am assured that we will win this battle, with your support and confidence and most importantly by the special grace of the Almighty God,” he said.

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