The Lagos State government are taking additional and necessary measures to slow down the spread of the COVID0-19 in the state, as Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday 24th March 2020, ordered the closure of markets, stores in the state with effect from Thursday.
The Governor made this known in a press conference on Tuesday, where he said markets that sell essential commodities such as medical equipment, water, foodstuff are exempted.
“It is not a total lockdown, we still want people on essential services to go about their normal activities.
“We are trying to de-centralise markets in Lagos. This is why we want to use some of our closed schools as markets, so people can buy food and medicine without going a long distance.
“It is only when you are alive that you can talk about economics and finance.”
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the state has recorded the highest number of confirmed cases in Nigeria, and this is understandable. The State being the most populated in the entire West Africa region and Africa, and the major entry point into the country, the figure so far, the government has done well so far to slow the spread.
The state government in an earlier statement released online, had warned all attendees to the last AMVCA at the popular Eko Hotel, to observe strict self-isolation, as one of the confirmed cases in the state has been confirmed to have attended the award ceremony. These and many more awareness campaign are being done to make sure that the case in Lagos does not get out of hand.
The full statement from the Governor reads:
“Owing to the daily rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lagos, we have taken more restrictive measures to break the cycle of transmission of the disease.
Directives have therefore been given to all markets and stores trading in non-essential commodities to close down for the next seven days with effect from Thursday, March 26.
Further measures to curb this epidemic include, the restriction of any public gathering from 50 people to 25 people.
Other public places expected to shut down from Thursday include, Public Parks (including those in private estates), swimming pools, gyms, beauty salons and other similar places of assembly.
These directives do not affect all pharmacy shops, as well as markets trading in essential life commodities and foodstuff. However, eateries and restaurants must not accept eat-in customers, they are to sell food in takeaway packs.
The Lagos Government will not relent in ensuring strict compliance with these directives, as law enforcement agencies have been given clear orders to deal with recalcitrant offenders.
We are aware that these directives issued have wide ranging effects on the fundamental human right to free movement, however the constitution never envisaged the coronavirus pandemic, hence this calls for us to invoke the doctrine of necessity, to allow us roll out these restrictive measures to protect and secure the lives of Lagosians.
In line with Federal Government’s guidelines, I urge inter-state commuters, either by air or road to refrain from travelling within this period, until the worst of this crisis is behind us. To increase the state’s capacity to contain this epidemic, we will be opening seven additional isolation centres across the state, as well as establishing two quarantine facilities in Gbagada General Hospital and Onikan Health Centre.
Lagos has always shown incredible strength and resilience in the face of many challenges, and this differentiates us as a people. Whilst we are hopeful that these guidelines pay off in getting rid of the ravaging epidemic, I am assured that we will win this battle with your support and most importantly, by the special grace of the Almighty God,this too shall pass,” he said.