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COVID-19: Lagos govt. orders closure of non-essential markets for 7 days

The Lagos State Government has ordered the closure of all open markets and stores for seven days, beginning from Thursday, March 26, so as to curb the spread of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said that the directive was with exception of sellers of food and medicines, medical equipment and other essential life-saving products.

Sanwo-Olu gave the directive while briefing newsmen on the update of COVID-19 after the State Security Council meeting on Tuesday at Lagos House, Marina.

He said that for those that fell into the aforementioned categories, it was imperative that they observed necessary precautionary measures of social distancing.

”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.

”The organised 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 prioritise 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.

”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,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He reiterate that people refrain from gatherings or congregations of any kind at all at this time; and where people must absolutely gather, the number of persons in the gathering must not exceed 50 persons.

According to him, there has been an increase in the total number of confirmed cases nationwide with Lagos leading the pack with the most number of newly confirmed cases.

He said that in Lagos, there has been a significant jump in the numbers from 19 as at Sunday, March 22 to 28 cases 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, 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 said.

According to him, now is not the time to be meeting friends, planning playdates, planning weddings or planning any other social event.

He urged residents to stay at home and stay away from gatherings as much as they could help it.

Sanwo-Olu said that anyone caught flouting any of the above directives as well as the previously issued directives would be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.

He said that law enforcement agencies and other relevant Lagos State protection agencies had been imbued with the power to deal with recalcitrant offenders, as the state government would not relent in ensuring strict compliance with the directives.

The governor thanked those who had complied with the stay home order and other directives thus far and urge them to continue in that vein.

”This is a collective effort and with your cooperation, we will achieve the desired goal of trapping this disease in its tracks and prevent it from escalating into an unimaginable outbreak,” he said.

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