Fresh lockdown looms in Lagos

THE Lagos State may impose a fresh lockdown on business activities and movement if the regulations for checking the spread of COVID-19 continue to be disregarded by the residents, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu warned on Saturday.

The governor declared that government might be forced to review the terms of easing the lockdown if there was no improvement in the adherence to the guidelines initiated to break the cycle of transmission of the virus.

He spoke as Akwa Ibom intercepted a corpse of COVID-19 victim from Lagos.

Vehicles carrying people in violation of the ban on interstate travels were intercepted in Abia, Cross River and Kwara States.

Sanwo-Olu at a briefing on the ease of the five-week lockdown imposed by the Federal Government said there would be a change in the State’s isolation strategy in the coming weeks.

The Government, he said, was taken aback, by residents going about their businesses in the first five days after the ease of lockdown without complying with the public health guidelines despite massive advocacy.

He said: “As a Government elected to uphold security of its citizens, which include health security, we will not hesitate to review the terms of the easing of lockdown if we do not see an improvement in adherence to our public health guidelines in the next couple of days.

“We will be forced to take a painful decision of bringing the entire system under lockdown if we continue to see evidence that Lagosians are determined to flout the rules.

“As we eased restrictions on movement, we have increased our testing capacity and we are also actively increasing our isolation capacity. Members of the public will also see a change in our isolation strategy in the weeks ahead, as we transition towards decentralisation.

“What this means is that, we will be introducing community management of cases, by accrediting and incorporating primary healthcare facilities and private healthcare facilities for the management of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 patients. However, we will guide this initiative carefully to ensure that it is not done at the expense of the capacity required to handle other medical cases.”

Sanwo-Olu directed the police to confiscate any commercial motorcycle seen flouting his directive that they should not operate in any part of the state for now.

The Governor also instructed security personnel to turn back all pedestrians trekking to Lagos from boundary highways.

The Governor said the task of ridding the State of the ravaging virus must be a collective responsibility and not a task for the Government alone. He advised residents to adhere strictly to the health measures initiated by the Government, stressing that the use of face mask was made compulsory to protect unaffected population from the virus.

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