Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has explained what the two-week lockdown of his state as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, means for residents of Nigeria’s most populous city.
On Sunday, March 29, President Buhari ordered a cessation of movement and closure of businesses in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun in the face of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeping the world and the country.
The three aforementioned cities have the most cases of the virus in Nigeria at the moment.
Buhari had said; “Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT (Abuja) for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two states.
"All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.”
What does this mean for Lagosians?
With a couple of Lagos residents still at sea about whether they are exempt from the ban on movement or not, Sanwo-Olu says “as we enter an initial 14 days lockdown announced by His Excellency President Buhari, I understand the uncertainty that a lot of you are feeling at the moment, but I want to encourage you to be resilient. We will beat #COVID19.
“The President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces placed our state on a 14-day lockdown to help us in our fight against #COVID19. We have been preparing for this and I will like to explain how it will work for everyone.
“This lockdown affects all our residents. The only exemptions are healthcare related businesses; food processing, distribution and retail companies, petroleum distribution and retail entities, power generation, transmission and distribution companies and private security companies.
“We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other states.
“The NCDC (Nigeria Center for Disease Control) and the Lagos State Ministry of Health are working hard at ensuring confirmed cases get the best care possible.
“I guarantee that we will do all that is necessary to get through this period seamlessly.”
Will your barber be shutting shop too?
Buhari’s directive also means that banks and most of the private sector in the affected cities will be shut for this initial period of 14 days.
There will be no transportation and your ride hailing services won't be available too.
Your neighborhood market will be shut as well, even though the supermarket, kiosk and pharmacy down the street will be open for business.
Petrol dispensing stations will run regular services as well.
Hair dressing salons and barber shops are also affected by the president's directive.