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Sanwo-Olu okays pry, secondary schools, tertiary institutions reopening

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has approved resumption of primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions in the state, barely five months after closure to prevent spread of coronavirus.
Sanwo-Olu said that while tertiary institutions would reopen next month, September 14, primary and secondary schools were currently pegged for resumption on September 21st.

At the 18th state-wide briefing held at the State House in Marina on Saturday, the governor stated that resumption of the primary and secondary schools could be subjected to further review in the ongoing modeling of the State’s response to the pandemic.

The re-opening order came six months after all tertiary institutions and basic schools were shut on the order of the Government, following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Sanwo-Olu said the decision to re-open the schools was carefully thought through, given the decline in the number of positive cases and the progress recorded in the State’s response.

According to him, the management of the schools should ensure adherence to the safety guidelines as they re-open their campuses for activities.

Besides, the Governor also permitted the re-opening of recreational centres and social clubs that have registered trustees, but on the condition that they obtain a provisional Safety Compliance Certificate through the registration portal of the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC).

“Also, restaurants are now permitted to open for in-dining services, but the operators must ensure the maintenance of a 50 percent maximum occupancy at any point in time as well as obtain a provisional Safety Compliance Certificate.”

Sanwo-Olu said his Government remained sympathetic to the plight of business owners, especially those operating in hospitality and tourism sectors.

He said the State Government was still reviewing the permissible opening dates for businesses tourism and hospitality industry, pointing out that there would be concrete decisions on easing the lockdown on tourism businesses before the end of September.

The Governor directed that all event centers, bars, lounges, night clubs, spas, beaches, cinemas, gyms and game arcades remain shut till further notice.

As Federal Government prepares to re-open international airspace for traffic on September 5, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government had started to work with the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to put adequate measures in place in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of Lagos residents in the light of resumption of international air-travel.

Sanwo-Olu said the observed decline in the number of positive cases did not mean the pandemic was over, urging residents to continue to adhere to the safety guidelines outlined by the health authorities.

“The fact that we have been seeing a gradual easing of the lockdown does not mean that we are now returning to our old way of doing things. The easing you are seeing is the outcome of a careful and deliberate attempt to ensure that livelihoods are not crippled by the overwhelmingly disruptive impact of the virus. It is certainly not an invitation to carelessness or nonchalance,” the Governor said.

The Governor disclosed that the State’s Deputy Incident Commander and Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, had been discharging his duty and responding to treatment, adding that Commissioner remained asymptomatic.

Sanwo-Olu, at the briefing, launched a COVID-19 Care Pack, which contains medications, hand sanitizer, face masks and handy medical equipment that could be used to check temperature.

The Care Pack is to be given to those who have been confirmed positive of the COVID-19 free of charge and who prefer home-based care.

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