Sanwo-Olu says face masks will become compulsory in Lagos soon

Sanwo-Olu said Lagosians will be required to wear face masks in public as soon as next week.

Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, flanked by deputy governor, Obafemi Hamzat (left), and Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi (right) [Twitter/@babajidesanwoolu]

While speaking during a media briefing on Monday, April 20, 2020, the governor said the directive will be implemented as soon as next week.

"We think that from next week, when we think that we'll have ramped up production and distribution, we're going to be asking that face masks should compulsorily be worn in public places.

"This is part of the deliberations that we've had to go through today, and I must say that we have commissioned over a million productions locally from various tailoring companies and outfits that we have.

"We intend to start distributing them in the course of the week," the governor said.

Sanwo-Olu cautioned that Lagosians must not rush to start buying medical grade masks because of his announcement.

He said the medical grade masks are needed more by healthcare workers who interact with people infected by coronavirus.

"We have commissioned local production of face masks certified by our healthcare professionals for our residents.

"Let us not give into panic buying and opportunistic price gouging which will deny our frontline healthcare workers of masks and other PPEs required to fight COVID-19," he said.

Since COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019, many in the international community have disagreed over who needs to wear face masks.

Last week, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) recommended face masks for members of the public as an additional layer of protection in addition to other safety measures such as physical distancing, and proper hand and respiratory hygiene.

The agency stressed that the recommendation on wearing face masks will not be enforced by the Federal Government and is just a piece of advice.

Lagos has been hardest-hit by the coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria, with 376 cases and 14 deaths recorded.

Nigeria has recorded a total of 627 coronavirus cases in 21 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

170 people have recovered and been discharged, but 21 people have died.

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