Moshood Adebayo, Lagos
Amid the escalating cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has given his assurance that his administration will leave nothing to chance in the fight against the disease.
The governor, in his capacity as the COVID-19 Incident Commander, in a statement Monday morning, said that the state, in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF among other institutions, will stop at nothing to halt the spread of the lethal disease.
While acknowledging that the restriction on movement in the state by President Mohammed Buhari announced Sunday evening was a tough decision, he concluded that it was a necessary step in the battle for life against the pandemic which has no known cure and has killed tens of thousands worldwide.
Explaining the reasons behind the restriction, Sanwo-Olu said it will enhance chances of defeating the coronavirus by giving room for medical workers to deal faster with cases as they arise.
The governor added that it will help contain the disease, as those infected will easily be identified and isolated, enhance social distancing, and ultimately prevent more people from contracting the disease.
On the security of lives and property during the 14-day restriction, the governor said: “I have directed the police and other security agents to ensure that there are no security breaches. They will ensure that criminals do not take advantage of this important measure.”
He advised the private sector, market leaders and traders to move out inflammable materials such as petrol, kerosene and others from their offices and shops before the restriction begins at 11 pm today.
The governor also urged them to switch off all electrical and electronic appliances to stave off fire incidents during the two-week restriction.
He reaffirmed that the state government will intensify its efforts at disinfecting public spaces, including parks and highways, maintaining that the exercise will extend to rural and riverine areas during the period of lockdown.
On the relief package introduced by his administration, Sanwo-Olu said: “As I had earlier promised that the poor and vulnerable among us will not be left to their own devices. We have since started our welfare package for this class of people, those who live on daily earnings and the jobless. The hitches noticed in the distribution of the food package are being addressed so as to make the exercise healthier and more dignifying.”
Assuring state residents that there is no need to panic, the COVID-19 Incident Commander stated that “even as the number of those infected is rising and our fear of community spreading is being confirmed by the cases that are being handled now, this is the time to be more focused on our responsibility in this battle. Let us continue to obey the simple rules prescribed by the experts.”