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JUST IN: Sanwo-Olu shuts down schools indefinately, limit mosque, churches, others gathering

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

As part of measures to flatten coronavirus curve in Lagos, the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered an indefinite closure of public and private schools and that religious houses limit their congregations to 50 percent capacity of the venue.

Sanwo-Olu also directed public servants from Grade Level 14 and below to work from home from Monday, December 21st for the next 14 days to avoid further spread of the virus in Lagos.

The Governor, who disclosed that he had recovered tremendously from the virus contracted, on Friday, stated that all concerts, carnivals, and street parties earlier scheduled for the yuletide and others for next year be put on hold until further notice.

He noted that the directives and other measures were taken by the government as the only solution that could flatten the virus curve and prevent a full-blown second wave from developing within Lagos.

Sanwo-Olu explained that the state like 35 others was not immune to the virus and that unlike the first wave that was perculiar to some local governments, this wave had been recorded in all councils.

He said: “Of every 100 tests that we now perform, an average of 10 turns out to be positive. This is an increase from the 5 per hundred recorded in September, but lower than our peak in August which was between 20 and 30 per hundred. This suggests the existence of active community transmission and represents the very likely possibility of the emergence of the second wave in Lagos State.

“This second wave calls for a full re-awakening of caution and precaution. The complacency that crept in over the last few months as a result of our early interventions when cases started to decline from our peak in August, must now give way to an abundance of vigilance”.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Nigerian Police and other security operatives in the state have been mandated to ensure full enforcement, without exception.

He noted that any breache of these regulations and public health protocols would lead to immediate closure as well as attract heavy fines, and any other sanctions and penalties listed in the Lagos State Infectious Diseases Control Regulation 2020.

For event centre owners and planners, the governor stressed that they would be held responsible for any breach of protocols by their staff.

“Night Clubs have not been allowed to open yet. All Night Clubs in Lagos must immediately shut down, until further notice. And the midnight to 4 am curfew imposed by the Federal Government remains in place. Also, the protocol of ‘No Mask No Entry’ must be enforced by all public places: Offices, Businesses, Markets, Shops, and so on.

“All Places of Worship (Churches, Mosques, etc.) must ensure that no gathering exceeds two hours, and also that no gathering exceeds 50 percent of the maximum capacity of the Venue”, the governor added.

While addressing pressmen, he noted that venues for public gatherings including religious houses must maintain high level of hygiene with the premises cleaned before and after the event and that guests must maintain a minimum of 2 meters.

“All guests and service providers at events must wear nose masks/coverings before entry while hand sanitizers or handwashing units must be positioned at the entry point and various spots within the hall.

“Provision must be made for all guests and service providers to wash their hands before entering the venue or use hand sanitizers, as well as undergo a temperature check, which is mandatory.

“Guests and service providers with high temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team that must be present.

“Health, Safety, and Environment Officers must be present at all public gatherings (Religious or Social) and must be trained in basic first aid procedures; even as all events’ staff must also be educated on recognising COVID-19 symptoms.

“The Safety Commission has been directed to visit Event Centres and gauge compliance with the established guidelines, to stop the virus from spreading. If there is evidence of lack of compliance at any Event Centre, it will be shut down immediately.

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