In-spite of efforts so far taken by the Lagos State Government to curtail the spread of the transmissible Corona virus code named COVID-19; it is worrisome to note the unremitting upsurge in the magnitude of the infectious disease which is not only becoming a major threat to lives of individuals, but has also altered the peoples way of living.
In a publication posted on the 9th of May, 2020, the State Governor noted that he was taken aback watching residents going about their businesses in the last five days after ease of lockdown without complying with public health guidelines despite massive advocacy. According to Sanwo-Olu, “Lagos State may be in for another round of interminable lockdown of movement and business activities should the residents fail to adhere to the public health guidelines issued by the State Government in response to the fight against the ravaging Coronavirus (code named COVID-19) pandemic.
It would be recalled that The Federal Government of Nigeria, in a bid to contain the further spread of the contagious virus in the country, had on Sunday March 29, 2020 ordered a total lock down of activities in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory – Abuja, to be executed from Monday March 30, 2020. This was immediately followed by another 14 days extension also announced by the President Muhammadu Buhari with direct effect from 11:59pm on 13th of April, 2020.
To cushion the sharp effect of these lockdown directives in relation to apprehensions by some Nigerians, President Buhari, on the 27th of April, 2020, announced a phase out of the lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states.
While this relaxation of lock down was received with wide jubilation by many Nigerians, others expressed deep reservations over the lack of attention of the people, who upon the expiration of the total lock-down, trooped out massively without any respect for health authorities’ directives. Social distancing was completely overlooked as many banks, markets and public places were jam-packed to a point where people had to cuddle between themselves.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, in his statement, noted that “the crowd observed at various banks and markets across the state flouted the public gathering directive, noting that the Government would not watch while people violate the State’s guidelines towards combating the pandemic.
The aftermath of the ease in lockdown, has so far had a far-reaching effect on the efforts to fight the pandemic to a halt as the spread continues with the speed of light across the federation.
Lagos state, since the recording of Nigeria’s index case, has been the epic center of the COVID-19 cases in Nigeria. In further steps to prevail on the seemingly hopeless situation at hand now, the state is considering switching to Community Management of COVID-19 cases. Also, as stated in the release posted on the Lagos State online portals, an immediate directive has been issued to the Police to confiscate any commercial bike riders, popularly known as Okada, found operating. Pedestrian trekking into Lagos will also be fully checked henceforth. “As citizens, we have a great burden upon us to behave responsibly.
These times demand a lot from us, in terms of actions and behaviors that may not be comfortable. To stay alive and well, we have to abandon old habits and customs, and adopt new ones” states the Governor – Babajide Sanwo-Olu.