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Coronavirus: Sanwo-olu Shuts Down Markets, Reduces Social, Religious Gatherings to 25 persons

Lagos State Government, on Tuesday, took more restrictive measures to break the cycle of transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the State. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu directed all markets and stores trading in non-essential commodities to close for seven days.

The directive takes effect from Thursday, March 26. Also, the Governor reduced the number of people that must participate in a public gathering at any given time from 50 to 25.

A statement by the CPS, Gboyega Akosile said the Chief Judge of the State, Justice Kazeem Alogba, has been instructed to close all High and Magistrate courts across the State from Thursday to support the efforts being made to stop the epidemic.

Other public places shut by the Government include parks, playgrounds and recreational centres within the State, regardless of ownership.

In a televised briefing, Sawno-Olu said the restrictive measures were necessary, given the rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lagos. He said the directive should not be seen a lockdown on business activities in the State.

The directives, the Governor said, did not affect pharmacy shops and all markets where food stuffs are traded. Eateries and restaurants must not accept eat-in customers; they are to serve food in take-away packages.

Sanwo-Olu said the Government would be opening markets in schools across the State where food items could be purchased in the restrictive period to prevent panic buying. He said the guidelines would be reviewed after it lapses for next line of action.

The Governor said the State had been proactive and prompt in tracking, isolating and managing the suspected cases, adding that the conditions of all confirmed cases were stable at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Yaba.

The Governor urged inter-state commuters, either by air or road, to refrain from travel this period. This, he said, falls within the Federal Government’s guidelines.

Sanwo-Olu advised the organised private sector to take drastic steps as done by the Government of the public sector and allow non-essential workers to work from home.

Banks and other financial institutions, Sanwo-Olu advised, must prioritise online channels for their services to the public, saying only essential and key senior staff should be allowed to work in the office during restriction period.

The Governor said anyone caught flouting the new directives, as well as the previous guidelines, would face the full wrath of the law.

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