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Sanwo-Olu: ‘I haven’t locked down Lagos!’

Lagos government clarifies reports concerning a lock-down of Nigeria's commercial capital.

Lagos Gov Sanwo-olu addresses new recruits of LASTMA in Lagos on Wednesday, Feb 5, 2020 (Twitter: @Mr_Jags)

Pulse noticed light vehicular traffic on usually busy routes in the nation’s commercial capital on the morning of Thursday, March 26, 2020, amid speculations that the government has ordered a lock-down, given the rising figures of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state.

“The attention of the Lagos state government has been drawn to news reports that Lagos is on lock-down following Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s update on the steps taken to curtail the spread of coronavirus. The impression created by such reports is erroneous; Lagos is not on lock-down despite the stringent measures introduced by the government,” the governor said through his Information Commissioner, Gbenga Omotosho.

"Mr. Governor, who is the Incident Commander, only urged private sector establishments to introduce measures that will support the government’s efforts at curtailing the spread of COVID-19.

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“Governor Sanwo-Olu suggested that banks should enhance their online banking services to enable their customers have transactions without visiting banking halls.

“All markets that are not selling food, pharmaceutical products, water, medical equipment and other essential materials are to close down.

“Workers providing essential services - Fire Service, Emergency, health, water, telecommunication, security, media and others - are exempt from this directive.

“The initiatives being introduced by the government are to prevent any situation where more than 25 persons will gather in the same place at any time.

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“The Sanwo-Olu administration is concerned about the rising number of COVID-19 cases, hence it is adopting measures to keep residents safe.

“The government will continue to appraise the situation, consult various stakeholders and make further announcements to check the spread of this lethal disease.

“Residents should observe simple hygiene measures, such as washing hands with soap and water, covering their mouth while sneezing or coughing and consulting a doctor when feeling ill. Anyone feeling unwell should stay indoors,” Omotosho adds.

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Last Tuesday, Sanwo-Olu had said Lagos cannot afford a total lock-down as some have suggested because of the economic implication, citing millions of residents who cannot afford to stock up on essential items.

“We know what our poverty line is, and I’m a very realistic leader,” he said. “We need to be considerate of that."

32 of Nigeria’s current 51 coronavirus tally was detected in Lagos, Nigeria’s most populous city and commercial capital.

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