Governor Sanwo-Olu: Success of easing lockdown depends on residents’ compliance


Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has decried the non-compliance to measures to contain the Coronavirus pandemic by some residents of the state.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who stated this on Saturday while giving the 11th Update on Coronavirus in the state, reiterated that the success of the gradual easing of the lockdown is dependent upon the compliance of Lagos residents.

He said that the state government “will not hesitate to review the terms of this easing if we continue to see evidence that Lagosians are determined to flout the rules.

“The continued maintenance of this easing is only guaranteed when people consistently comply.”

While also describing as unacceptable, the poor compliance level with the COVID-19 protocols, including physical and social distancing, wearing of face masks, not exceeding 60 percent carriage capacity in public transportation especially by the yellow commercial buses, all of which were meant to check the spread of the coronavirus in the state, Sanwo-Olu said the state government within the next few days might be compelled to take tougher actions, which include the review of gradual relaxation announced about a week ago.

The governor also directed the police to immediately begin confiscation of commercial motorcycles (Okada) for failure to vacate the roads this period as earlier directed, as well as ordered security agencies to turn back vehicles violating the restriction imposed on inter-state movements of persons.

He said that as citizens, there is a great burden on Nigerians, to behave responsibly, adding that these times demand a lot from them in terms of actions and behaviours.

“To stay alive and well, we have to abandon old habits and customs, and adopt new ones. Government also has its own responsibilities, which include making and communicating informed decisions to the public, for the good of all. Another important responsibility of government is to find ways to minimise the impact of these disruptions on the lives of the people.”

He added that one of the major reasons for the controlled and gradual easing of the five-week lockdown was to strike a balance between the protection of lives and the sustenance of livelihoods.

“This is why, in collaboration with the Federal Government, we have carefully calibrated the reopening of critical sectors of the Lagos economy, while also ensuring that we minimise risk by maintaining vital restrictions in other areas.”

On the efforts to curb the virus, the governor noted that Lagos State has paid for over 20,000 extraction kits and has placed an order for another 20,000 in its bid to test at least 120,000 in the next 60 days.

“50% of the backlog has been cleared which is also responsible for the recent seemingly high rate of positive cases in the last couple of days.

“Suppliers of kits are the manufacturers and their local representatives. However, the bid is open to any company with repute and integrity who can supply the desired kits to specification.”

In this same vein, Governor Sanwo-Olu said that he has also mandated the state laboratory apparatus to commence the local production of certain items used for the diagnostic process and this has commenced already.

“We have also started a biweekly procurement of laboratory needs to prevent running out of these materials going forward, until at least 120,000 tests are done in a about two months.

“In addition to increasing testing capacity, we are also actively increasing our isolation capacity. You will also see a change in our Isolation strategy in the weeks ahead, as we transition towards decentralisation.”

The governor said that what this means is that the state will be introducing community management of cases, by accrediting and incorporating primary health care facilities and private healthcare facilities for the management of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 patients.

“We must be careful to ensure that this is not done at the expense of the capacity required to handle other medical cases,” he added.

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