Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu, has opened a two-week window for the burial of corpses in a bid to decongest mortuaries in the state.
After this grace period, the governor threatened to carry out mass burial for corpses not buried.
The governor, who lamented that there is serious congestion of mortuaries as a result of lockdown restriction occasioned by the ravaging Coronavirus, however, explained that the corpses were not those of victims of the pandemic.
Sanwo Olu, who spoke, while giving update on COVID-19 in the state yesterday, also confirmed that only 18 deaths were so far recorded as a result of the contagious disease in the state.
He also linked the mortuary congestion to the recent Lenten period, during which many Christians forbid burying their loved ones.
The governor also announced that funeral rites are on the list of activities exempted from the lockdown restriction once they complied with health guidelines.
«One of the outcome of the lockdown is that many families have postponed funeral plans for their loved ones who have passed away before or during this period. As you may be aware, many Christian denominations do not carry out funeral during the Lenten season. Funerals are typically kept on hold during this period and are schedule for immediately after the season.
His words: «Unfortunately, this year the COVID-19 lockdown started within the end of the Lenten season, which caused many families and households to further suspend or put off their funeral plans.
«Because of this inability to hold funerals occasioned by restriction of movement, our mortuaries in Lagos are now getting to the peak. And there is a need for us to have a decongestion. If we are not able to see decongestion of the mortuaries across the state within the next two weeks, Lagos State government might be compelled to seek to have mass burial and we do not want to force this on anyone and that is why we are asking for cooperation.
“You can hold and attend funeral ceremonies in Lagos State as long as it complies with the requirements that have been laid down. These include not more than 20 people, including the officiating religious leaders, physical distancing must be maintained. All attendees must wear face masks, as well as ensure that they wash their hands before and after attending the burial ceremony.”