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West Africa

COVID-19: Sanwo-Olu threatens another lockdown on Lagos

  • Says 33 dead, 448 treated

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos State, has said that his administration may be forced to review the ease of lockdown if residents continue to ignore public health guidelines.

Speaking during the maiden briefing after the ease of a five-week lockdown, Sanwo-Olu said: “Another round of interminable lockdown of movement and business activities would be introduced if there is no improvement in the adherence to the guidelines initiated to break the cycle of transmission of the dreaded virus.”

The government, he said, was taken aback, watching residents going about their businesses in the last five days after the ease of lockdown without complying with the public health guidelines despite massive advocacy.

Sanwo-Olu said the crowd observed at various banks and markets across the state flouted the public gathering directive, noting that the government would not watch while people violate the State’s guidelines towards combating the pandemic.

“As a Government elected to uphold security of its citizens, which include health security, we will not hesitate to review the terms of the easing of lockdown if we do not see an improvement in adherence to our public health guidelines in the next couple of days,” he said

“We will be forced to take a painful decision of bringing the entire system under lockdown if we continue to see evidence that Lagosians are determined to flout the rules.

“As we eased restrictions on movement, we have increased our testing capacity and we are also actively increasing our isolation capacity. Members of the public will also see a change in our isolation strategy in the weeks ahead, as we transition towards decentralisation.

“What this means is that, we will be introducing community management of cases, by accrediting and incorporating primary healthcare facilities and private healthcare facilities for the management of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 patients. However, we will guide this initiative carefully to ensure that it is not done at the expense of the capacity required to handle other medical cases.”

The governor, lamented the rising case of Coronavirus in the state, disclosing that 1, 683 cases of the global disease had been reported in the state.

He disclosed that 448 patients have been treated and discharged, while 33 persons have lost their lives to the virus-related disease.

“This week, (which ended yesterday) has been unprecedented in terms of the numbers of newly confirmed cases in Lagos State. As at Friday May 8, 2020, we had 1,683 confirmed cases. Of that number, 448 have been treated and discharged, while we have, sadly, lost 33 persons.

“In the six days since my last address to you, while we have seen a 32% increase in the number of fatalities in Lagos State, and a 62% increase in the number of confirmed cases, we have also seen a remarkable 100% increase in the number of persons who have fully recovered.

He added: “This trend of recoveries is very encouraging, and we believe it will continue at this rate. It gives us some of the much-needed confidence to face the difficult days and weeks ahead”.

While decrying the attitudes of a section of Lagosians to the guidelines on the pandemic,Sanwo Olu said :” Let the numbers we have seen this week stand as a warning to all of you the good people of Lagos State. What we are seeing is child’s play compared to what we could be seeing if we continue to be irresponsible”, he warned.

The governor, who admitted that the state was in the community transmission stage of the infection, he added that that the only way to be sure was making all the right decisions is ensuring that we continue to scale up testing.

In this regard, he revealed that there are now four testing facilities in the state and expressed gratitude to the National Comtrol for Disease Centre and other partners involved in the fight against the disease.

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