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Sanwo-Olu Orders Closure Of All Markets, Stores In Lagos Over Coronavirus

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu


Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered the closure of all markets and stores in the state except markets that sell food, water, medicines, medical equipment and other essential life-saving items from Thursday, March 26, 2020.

He said the closure would last for seven days at the first instance. Sanwo-Olu, while giving an update on the COVID-19 situation in the state on Tuesday, also directed the Chief Judge of Lagos state to ensure that all Magistrate and High Courts in the State close immediately to the public and suspend all court sittings, stating that essential services should be transacted electronically.

The governor also called on the organized private sector to follow the steps of the public sector and allow as many workers as possible to work from home; while he encouraged banks and other financial institutions to prioritize online channels for their services to the public, with only essential and key senior staff being in the office.

He further ordered all public parks, including those in private and residential estates, swimming pools, gyms, beauty salons, and all such public places to shut down until further notice. To further reduce the spread of the virus, he appealed to Nigerians to refrain from inter-state travelling of any kind for now. According to him, Lagos state has seen a significant jump in number of confirmed cases from 19 on Sunday to 28 today (Tuesday). He assured that the State is proactively and promptly tracking, isolating and managing the suspected cases, as well as the confirmed ones at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Yaba.

“I am pleased to note that all our confirmed cases, bar the ones that have since been discharged, are doing well and are all in stable condition,” he said. He disclosed that the State is identifying other isolation centers across five divisional zones of Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe to ensure a seamless and coordinated approach towards the quick identification and isolation of suspected cases without overwhelming the mainland Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba.

“I urge that all travel to and from Lagos, whether by air or by road, be avoided at this time. The Federal Government has already advised residents of Lagos and Abuja to stay put where they are, and I would like to reiterate this in the strongest terms possible. As much as possible let us all refrain from inter-state travelling of any kind, until the worst of the crisis is behind us.

“Let us also refrain from gatherings or congregations of any kind at all at this time; and where we must absolutely gather, the number of persons in the gathering must not exceed 50 persons. “Now is not the time to be meeting friends, plan blind dates, plan weddings or plan any other social event. Stay home and stay away from gatherings as much as you can help it,” Sanwo-Olu urged. He noted that anyone caught flouting any of the above directives as well as the previously issued directives will be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law. He reiterated that law enforcement agencies and other relevant Lagos State protection agencies have been imbued with the power to deal with recalcitrant offenders.

“These are indeed challenging times and we need to act responsibly and with an urgent sense of duty to ensure that we take the precautionary measures seriously and do what is right in the circumstances.

“I am not unaware that the directives issued thus far have wide ranging effects and restrictions on your personal freedom, as well as your fundamental human rights; however, as you can imagine, the constitution or any law for that matter never quite envisage the coronavirus pandemic.

“So, at this time, the doctrine of necessity is being invoked to allow us roll out these restrictive measures to protect and secure our state and its people,” he said.
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