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Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Home Lifestyle Metro Coronavirus: Lagos state governor announces new measures to ease lockdown

Coronavirus: Lagos state governor announces new measures to ease lockdown

Ahead of the Monday, 4th May 2020 gradual easing of the lockdown imposed by the Federal Government on Lagos State, Ogun State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Lagos State Government has announced new measures to ease the lockdown in the state.

The set of new guidelines, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said in his briefing at the State House in Marina, are to safeguard the gains, which the state had made in the past four weeks in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

From Monday, the State Government will be implementing the dusk-to-dawn curfew announced by President Muhammadu Buhari last Monday as part of the phased measures to reduce the risk of the spread of the COVID-19 disease among the residents and to consolidate on the response strategy deployed to combat the pandemic.

The governor announced that state public officers from level 1 to 12 should remain and work from home unless otherwise directed by their accounting officers. He said the accounting officers of various ministries would carry out a needs assessment for officers from level 13 and above.

He says: ‚ÄúFor 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.‚ÄĚ

The governor also made crucial changes to the public transportation system and business dealings at corporate offices, local markets, and malls.

All passenger buses are not permitted to load to full capacity, Sanwo-Olu ordered in the new guidelines.

All commercial vehicles must carry a maximum of 60 per cent of full capacity, and their drivers must use a face mask and observe other prescribed hygiene tips, ” Sanwo-Olu says.

The governor also suspended the operation of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as Okada, across the state, with the exception of those used for courier and logistics purposes.

Sanwo-Olu directed the drivers of tricycles (Keke NAPEP)  not to carry more than two passengers per trip and the passengers must keep an appropriate distance.

Besides, food handlers at public eateries and restaurants have been mandated by the State Government to wear masks and hand gloves at all times, especially during the preparation and serving of foods.

Only take-out meals and delivery services will be permitted at eateries and restaurants, Sanwo-Olu ordered.

The Governor said all businesses that will re-open next week must operate between the hours of 9 am to 3 pm. The new directive on business operating hours affects all corporate firms, banks, malls, and local markets.

Here is the simplified version of the governor’s statement:

1. All places of worship remain closed until further notice.

2. Eateries and restaurants to open between 9 am-3 pm and are to do only takeout.  No eat in. Also, 9 am-3 pm only! Take note! Must wear gloves and masks.

3. Public transport. All commuters to wear masks and gloves. Handwashing equipment and thermometers must be provided. Buses to load  60% capacity.  No standing. All air conditioners off! All commercial bikes suspended! Tricycles 2 passengers only.

4. Controlled easing phase for all businesses, Banks and companies are as follows. All staff will work between 9 am and 3 pm. Maximum of 60% capacity on ground.  Others to work from home.

5. All schools remain closed! Teach online!

6. Whistleblower Channels to be introduced for anyone who flaunts the directives

7. All beaches, clubs, gyms, salon, cinemas, swimming pool remains closed!

8. Markets to open on designated days between 9 am-3 pm

9. 50% elevator capacity only

10. Funerals are permitted. Only 20 people permitted and that includes the officiating ministers. No party to follow it.

11. Curfew remains in place as directed by the President. 6 am to 8 pm.

12.Banks to operate from 8 am.- 2 pm

12. Review of compliance to be done again in 2 weeks!

Read the governor’s statement below:

“Dear Lagosians, to begin my update on our phased plan for #EasingTheLockdown, I start with some good news. Today, we discharged 49 patients from our isolation facilities after they tested negative twice to #COVID19 bringing the total number of discharged patients in Lagos to 143.¬†

“For each sector, we have specific guidelines for #EasingTheLockdown while balancing public health and the economy.

“Public Service workers from Grades 1-12 will continue to work from home while Grades 13 and above will be on a flexible roster managed by the Head of Service¬†

“Primary, secondary and tertiary institutions will remain closed. Students are expected to continue learning on alternative media and online channels.

“Corporate firms, banks, malls and local markets are allowed to reopen within the hours of 9 am to 3 pm under an enforced framework called “Controlled Easing Phase” and to operate at a capacity of 60% of their staff on the premises and 40% working from home.

“We understand the role banks and financial institutions play in the economy, so we encourage them to reopen their branches observing the work hours of 9 am to 3 pm while also strictly observing social distancing, regular cleaning and sterilisation of the ATMs.

“Eateries and restaurants will be open between 9 am and 3 pm but only for take-out and delivery services. In-dining services are not allowed. All food handlers and staff must go through exhaustive health checks, temperature checks and a high level of hygiene must be maintained.

“On #EasingTheLockdown, markets and stores will be allowed to operate from 9 am to 3 pm on selected days which will be communicated.

“Occupancy of malls must be 60% of original capacity and social distancing must be observed. Washbasins and hand sanitisers must also be provided.

“Transportation is a critical part of our plan in #EasingTheLockdown and to reduce the risk of contagion, all commuters must wear masks, wash hands with soap, water and sanitise with an alcohol-based sanitiser. Vehicles, parks and garages must be sanitised regularly and continuously.

“#EasingTheLockdown: All buses must be loaded at 60% capacity. In practical terms, if seating capacity is 10, only 6 people are allowed. Transport operators/companies must have handwashing equipment with running water and soap. Social distancing is also required while queuing up.

“In #EasingTheLockdown, there will be no standing in BRT and LBSL buses. Water transportation will be restricted between 6 am and 6 pm daily.

“Commercial motorcycles(Okadas) will suspend activities statewide while tricycles will have 2 passengers per trip in non-restricted areas.

“Entertainment centres, cinemas, arcades, bars, casinos, day clubs, nightclubs, beaches, pools, gyms, salons, barbershops, spas, and public parks both private and public in all parts of the state will remain closed for the next 2 weeks.

“All places of worship both formal and informal will remain closed for any form of congregational services.

“Our Muslim brothers and sisters taking part in Ramadan must observe all prayers and meals within their homes as no gatherings are allowed.

“As I announced in my last address, funerals are permitted and encouraged with strict adherence to the published directives. Size of gatherings must not exceed 20 including officiating ministers, physical distancing must be observed and all guests must return home.

“All elderly people and people with underlying or pre-existing health conditions are encouraged to atay indoors as much as practicable. We encourage residents to help the vulnerable and others as much as possible.

“There will be a curfew from 8 pm to 6 am. This means we expect all Lagosians to stay in their homes during the curfew. Furthermore, there is also a ban on interstate travel at this time. This means no one will be allowed in and out of Lagos until further notice.

“I want to especially thank everyone who has donated to the Lagos state #COVID19 Response, by way of cash, medical equipment and other essential materials. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.

“Let us remember that we are in unprecedented times; which call for unprecedented responses. We will have to adjust our behaviour in ways that will be painful and uncomfortable.

“Let us see these adjustments as a small price to pay to guarantee victory over an unrelenting enemy.”

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Jenny M
Jennifer Madunagu is a diction/phonetics instructor and also a creative writer. She loves seeing movies and enjoys reading books. To follow Jennifer Madunagu - Twitter: @Jmadunagu

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