By Benjamin Omoike
The Lagos State Governor and COVID-19 Incident Commander, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has saluted Lagosians for their endurance since measures to fight the Coronavirus were announced by the government.
In a statement issued on Monday, Governor Sanwo-Olu acknowledged that no aspect of human life has been spared by the lethal disease, saying the 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.
Sanwo-Olu reiterated that effective from 11pm, March 30, 2020, as announced by President Muhammadu Buhari, movement will be restricted in Lagos State for 14 days and noted that only people rendering essential services, such as health workers, manufacturers and distributors of health equipment and drugs, food and water companies are 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.
While acknowledging that the restriction on movement is a tough decision, the Incident Commander, stated that it is a necessary step in the battle for life against the COVID-19 pandemic which has no known cure till date.
“We must co-operate with the authorities as long as this restriction lasts,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He maintained that the restriction will enhance chances of defeating Coronavirus by giving room for medical workers to deal faster with cases; 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.
Governor Sanwo-Olu advised 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 off fire incidents during the 14-day restriction.
He reaffirmed that the government will intensify its efforts at disinfecting public places, including parks and highways, maintaining that the exercise will extend to rural and riverine areas during the restriction period.
Speaking on the relief package introduced by the Lagos State Government, Sanwo-Olu said, “As I had earlier promised that the poor and vulnerable among us will not be left to their own devices. We have since started our welfare package for this class of people, those who live on daily earnings and the jobless. The hitches noticed in the distribution of the food package are being addressed so as to make the exercise healthier and more dignifying.”
Assuring residents that there is no need to panic, the COVID-19 Incident Commander averred that “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 outlined the precautionary measures including social distancing, remaining indoors, washing of hands with soap and water as many times as possible, covering mouths when sneezing or coughing and avoiding any unnecessary gathering.
The Governor thanked the private sector for their comradeship and praised the health workers who have been on the frontlines of the battle against an unseen enemy, describing them as worthy compatriots.