Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu says residents must take responsibility and obey social distancing measures or the government will review easing of the COVID-19 lockdown currently being implemented.
Sanwo-Olu sounded the warning during his COVID-19 briefing at the Lagos state house in Marina on Saturday.
“The gradual easing of this lockdown is dependent upon the compliance of each and every one of us, which is the #TakeResponsbility,” he said. “As a government elected to uphold the security of its citizens, which includes health security, let me make it clear that we will not hesitate to review the terms of this easing if we do not see an improvement in the next couple of days. People have to take responsibility.”
The Governor reiterated guidelines such as the use of face masks in public, noting that the measures were designed to keep people safe.
“This face-mask wearing is to protect yourself,” he explained. “You have to help us protect you and protect your loved ones. It is not a showpiece, it is not something that we believe that will inconvenience you, it is really to protect you and to protect your family. Please and please again, if you have any public engagement, make sure, compulsorily, that you are wearing a face mask.
“We have also heard of people that are sharing face masks, please let us desist from this very uncivilized acts. People are not meant to be sharing face masks in public places.”
The Governor added that while trucks and other vehicles carrying designated essentials will continue to be given access into the state, his government will not tolerate trucks hiding people among goods.
“This is not acceptable and such vehicles will be turned back, and they will not be given access to the state,” he said.
Lagos State currently has the highest number of COVID-19 infections in Nigeria with 1,667 cases, as of Friday evening, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
Meanwhile, the government says it is working on increasing its testing capacity.
“Our combined lab capacity is at about 850 tests daily,” Sanwo-Olu said on Saturday. “This is easily scalable to 1,500 and 2,000 subject to the availability of extraction kits considering the acute global shortage.”
To achieve this, the governor said the state has paid for over 20,000 extraction kits and has placed an order for another 20,000 in its bid to test at least 120,000 in the next 60 days.
He also noted that the state has commenced a biweekly procurement of laboratory needs “to prevent running out of these materials going forward, until at least 120,000 tests are done in a about 2 months.”
Sanwo-Olu also said the state is “actively increasing our isolation capacity.”
“You will also see a change in our Isolation strategy in the weeks ahead, as we transition towards decentralisation,” he added.
“What this means is that we will be introducing community management of cases, by accrediting and incorporating primary health care facilities and private healthcare facilities for the management of mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 patients”.
The governor also spoke about the collection of accurate data and beyond that, he announced that the state is developing an emergency digital response platform that will help in the collection of data, necessary for informed decision-making.