COVID-19: Ninth Update on Coronavirus by the Lagos State Incident Commander, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
1. It has become imperative for me to address you again today, following the culmination of the second phase of the Lockdown on Lagos, Ogun and the FCT, and the Nationwide Address by President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday.
2. It is now my duty to share a broader framework for the implementation of the President’s directives here in Lagos State.
3. But before I do that, let me reiterate some of these directives, as outlined by the President in his address:
a. There will be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am, except for essential services. This means that from the hours of 8pm to 6am we expect all Lagosians to stay in their homes.
b. Furthermore, there is a ban on interstate travel at this time. This means that no persons will be allowed in or out of Lagos until further notice, except for those delivering essential goods and services. And by this, we mean food items, petroleum products, newspapers, and essential manufactured goods.
c. According to the President, “Partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services will be allowed for the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers.”
4. Lagos State will be very strict in the implementation of this directive. As a first step, I am directing that vehicles carrying food and agricultural produce into Lagos from any part of the country cannot have more than 7 passengers on board. The same applies when these vehicles are leaving the state.
5. We are compelled to issue this directive because we have in recent weeks seen attempts to conceal people in trucks and other vehicles carrying essential items, with the aim of sneaking them into or out of the State.
6. Dear Lagosians, before I fully outline the guidelines for the easing of the Lockdown in Lagos State, let me officially update you on the medical situation. Our
State continues to be the epicentre of #COVID19 in Nigeria. The total number of confirmed cases in our State as at midnight April 28, 2020 is 844.
7. One Hundred and Forty-Three (143) persons have been treated and discharged, and I am pleased to announce that today alone, we are discharging 49 people, of whom there are 48 Nigerians and 1 Foreigner – a Greek national. Of these there are 28 females and 21 males. Sadly, we have lost 19 people, and we currently have 682 active cases.
8. I have been on the phone with our medical personnel who contracted the Coronavirus; I spoke with all of them earlier today; and I am pleased to say that they are all doing very well and in very high spirits. We are all looking forward to their discharge very soon.
9. Our medical workers will continue to be top priority for us at this time, and we will continue to make available all the resources they require, in terms of Hazard Allowances, Covid Allowances, Personal Protective Equipment, psycho-social support, and others.
10. We are continuing our active case finding in communities across Lagos State. So far, we have covered over 1.5million households; and we are also continuing to scale-up our Isolation and Treatment capacity. The Isolation Center at Gbagada opens tomorrow, and we are currently working on building three additional Isolation Centers in the state.
11. Also ongoing are our relief package distribution efforts, with the kind support of private organisations and civil society groups.
12. We are encouraging businesses in Lagos to commence the production of face masks, as we roll out a new campaign to Mask Up Lagos. This is an opportunity for our people, especially the youth, to display their creativity and artistic flair, and project the cultural spirit of Lagos State to the world.
13. I will now go on to share details of how the Presidential Directives on the gradual easing of the Lockdown in Lagos State will be implemented and enforced.
14. Our public officers in the entire unified public service from grade levels 1-12 are to remain and work from home; unless otherwise directed by their Accounting Officers.
15. For those on Grade Levels 13 and above, Accounting Officers will carry out a Needs Assessment of critical staff, identify essential officers and draw up a Flexible Work Roster in compliance with Social Distancing principles. The Head of Service will provide further details via a circular.
16. None of these directives applies to essential service providers. These people are expected to continue working as frontline workers, whose services are deeply appreciated.
17. All open markets and stores will be allowed to open daily from 9am till 3pm on selected days. Everyone attending these markets and stores will be mandated to observe precautionary measures of social distancing and very high levels of personal and hand hygiene.
18. Malls will be allowed to open with the proviso that stores in the malls maintain a 60% occupancy capacity within the stores; while also ensuring that a 2-meter social distancing is maintained between every person and the next, in the store.
19. Hand sanitizers and/or wash basins must be provided at all entry points, and temperature checks must be carried out.
EATERIES AND RESTAURANTS
20. Eateries and restaurants will be allowed to open daily between 9am and 3pm, but only take-out and delivery services will be permitted. In-dining services are not allowed.
21. All food handlers and staff of eateries are expected to have gone through exhaustive health checks and must also practise high levels of personal and hand hygiene in serving members of the public.
22. Food handlers are also mandated to wear masks and hand gloves at all times; particularly during the preparation and serving of the food.
23. Hand sanitizers and/or wash basins must be provided at all entry points, and temperature checks must be carried out periodically throughout the period they are open for business.
24. All medical establishments will continue to open, and maintain a high index of suspicion for Covid-19. All suspected cases of Covid-19 must be immediately reported to the State Helpline: 08000-267662.
25. All Schools and Institutions at primary, secondary and tertiary levels remain physically closed. Students are expected to continue learning on the alternative online and media channels announced by the various institutions of learning.
26. All places of worship (both formal and informal) are to remain closed from any form of congregational services or assemblage, until further notice.
27. Our Muslim brothers and sisters taking part in the Ramadan Fast must observe all meals and prayers within their homes. In line with the pronouncement of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), no gatherings are allowed for Iftar, Suhur, and
Tarawih; and the conduct of Tafsir is also suspended.
28. Because the process of ablution involves touching the face, it is essential to ensure that the hands are clean.
Ablution should, therefore, be preceded by the washing of hands with soap.
29. The capacity of our public transportation system to reduce the risk of contagion will also be strengthened by a number of proactive measures we intend to take.
These are as follows:
a. All commuters are mandated to wear face masks at all times, sanitize with alcohol-based sanitizer or wash their hands with soap and running water before and after every trip.
b. All transport operators/companies are expected to sanitize their vehicles, parks and garages regularly and continuously at least before and after every trip.
c. All Transport Operators/Companies are expected to have at the entrance of the respective parks hand washing equipment with running water; and deploy temperature readers to test every passenger before boarding.
d. All operators are expected to have alcohol-based sanitizers in their vehicles for drivers, conductors and passengers.
e. All motor parks and garages must avoid overcrowding. Social distancing is required for passengers queuing up to board buses.
f. All buses should be loaded to a maximum of 60% of full capacity. This means that if a bus normally takes 10 people at full capacity, during this period, no more than 6 persons can be allowed to board at any point in time.
g. No standing allowed in all BRT and LBSL bus operations. All air- conditioning systems in public transport systems must be switched off.
h. All Operators, i.e. Drivers and Conductors, are mandated to always wear face masks and hand gloves while in transit and dispose of same appropriately.
30. All of these guidelines as outlined – face masks, regular disinfection, hand-washing equipment, temperature checks, and 60% maximum capacity – shall equally apply to Water Transport Operations.
31. In addition, from May 4, 2020, Water Transport Operations will be restricted to the period between 6am and 6pm daily, until further notice.
32. Commercial Motorcycles, popularly known as Okadas, are to suspend their operations statewide, except for those motorcycles used for courier and logistics purposes. Tricycles (Kekes) operating in unrestricted areas, must not carry more than two passengers per trip and must ensure appropriate social distancing is maintained between passengers.
OFFICES AND BUSINESSES
33. From May 4, 2020, businesses are allowed to operate within a framework that we call a “Controlled Easing Phase”. Let it be clear that this is not a full reopening of the economy. It is a gradual and controlled easing of the lockdown. We will continue to monitor the public health situation; the economic impact of the lockdown and always adjust our responses accordingly.
34. Companies that choose to operate within this Controlled Easing Phase are to operate between 9am and 3pm; and are also directed to operate at a maximum of 60% of their staff capacity.
35. Let me, however, say this: as many of us that can continue to work online and remotely from the office, please let us do so. Online and Work-from-Home arrangements are highly encouraged to continue as much as is practicable.
36. We understand the important roles Banks and Financial Institutions play in our economy, and for this reason they are highly encouraged to open their branches and offer their full complement of services to the general public. They are however to observe the operational working hours of
9am to 3pm. Very important for me to mention is that these Banks are also to ensure regular cleaning and decontamination of the various ATM machines.
37. For those institutions operating within the Controlled Easing Phase, certain measures and directives must be strictly adhered to. These are:
a. All buildings are to ensure a 2-meter distancing measure is maintained in all common areas; and at all service and customer facing desks.
b. All buildings are to maintain a 60% occupancy limit in all office rooms within the building; and no more than 50% of the elevator capacity in any building shall be utilized.
c. Businesses/Companies are encouraged to make adequate arrangement for the transportation of their staff to their places of work to reduce the risk of contagion and exposure while traveling on public transportation.
d. Companies transporting their staff to work in their private transportation arrangements shall be expected to strictly adhere to the principles of social distancing; as well as enjoin their staff to practise very high levels of hand and personal hygiene.
e. Hand sanitizers and/or wash basins must be made available at all entry points, and temperature checks must be carried out upon entry into the work premises.
38. Whistleblowers are encouraged to report companies which flout these directives. Our whistleblower channels will be duly communicated to the public. Whistleblowers are guaranteed full protection; their identities will be kept strictly confidential.
39. All entertainment centers such as event centers, cinemas, arcades, bars, casinos, day clubs, nightclubs and beaches will remain closed till further notice.
PARKS, POOLS, SPAS, GYMS AND SALONS
40. Swimming Pools, Gyms, Barber-shops, Spas, Beauty Salons, and all Public Parks, including those in private and residential estates, will continue to remain closed for another two weeks in the instance; at which point we will review and advise on the permissible opening date for these establishments. Residents’ Associations should please enjoin their members as well as operators of businesses within their association to adhere to these directives.
41. All elderly persons, as well as all persons with underlying or pre-existing health conditions, are encouraged to stay indoors as much as is practicable; and request the assistance of those not in the vulnerable or elderly category to procure essential items needed.
42. As I announced in my last address, funerals are permitted and encouraged with strict adherence to the published directives. I would like to thank the people who have complied or are in the process of complying. I would once again reiterate the approved guidelines for organizing and attending funerals:
a. Size of gathering should not exceed 20 people, including the officiating religious leaders.
b. Physical distancing must be maintained.
c. All guests must leave for their homes after the funeral; accompanying parties or receptions are not permitted.
43. Tomorrow, Thursday April 30, I will inaugurate a Committee comprising representatives of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN), Private Transport Operators, Nigeria Employers’
Consultative Association (NECA), Manufacturers
Association of Nigeria (MAN), and the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce & Industry; Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget.
44. This Committee will be charged with the responsibility of communicating, to their members, this framework I have outlined above, on the controlled easing of the Lockdown, so that we all fully understand what is expected from us. We are mindful of the fact that the success of the implementation will be determined by how well it is communicated to all the Stakeholders, and this Committee will play a critical role in this regard.
45. As I close, let me specially thank everyone who has donated to the Lagos State Covid-19 response, by way of cash, medical equipment and other essential materials. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. From Friday, May 1st, the Lagos State Government will be acknowledging all of you our worthy partners, in newspaper advertisements that will outline all that we have received, in the spirit of full transparency and accountability.
46. Let us continue to remember that we are in unprecedented times; which call for unprecedented responses. We will have to adjust and adapt our behavior in ways that will be painful and uncomfortable, including maximizing the use of the tools of technology at our disposal. This also places upon us a duty to support the most psychologically vulnerable among us, which includes parents taking the time to explain to their children what is going on, in a way that they can understand.
47. We must all see these forced adjustments as a small price to pay to guarantee victory for humanity over a deadly and unrelenting enemy.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu Governor of Lagos State
April 29, 2020