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*Governor’s speech to Lagosians*

1st August, 2020

17th Update on Coronavirus by the
Incident Commander, Governor Babajide Sanwo￾Olu.

Dear Lagosians,

1. I would like to start by publicly expressing my
condolences to the families of those who have
lost loved ones in recent times to reckless and
avoidable road accidents involving trailers and
containers; as well as accidents on our
waterways. The wheel of the law will take its
course and all those responsible for these
senseless deaths will be brought to justice.

2. It has now been five months since the first case
of Coronavirus was recorded in Nigeria. Since
then Nigeria has seen more than 43,000
infections, and a significant disruption of social,
religious, educational and economic life, like
every other part of the world.

3.As at yesterday, Friday July 31, 2020, Lagos
State has had a total of 15,150 confirmed cases .of Covid-19, with 10,835 persons who have
recovered and been discharged. We have sadly
now lost 194 persons to the virus. This leaves
us with *1813 active cases in community and 96 under management across various isolation*
centers in the State

4. Lagos State remains the epicenter of the pandemic in Nigeria, but we also, I am pleased
to say, have set a national example in terms of
the efficiency of our testing, tracing, treatment, and our partnerships with the private sector and
the Federal Government. Most of our patients in
Lagos recover under our supervision.

5. We now have two pathways through which
confirmed cases are managed: either through
our Home-Based Strategy, or in designated
COVID Care Centres. Those people in the
Home Care category are being supported
medically with our COVID Care Packs, and
psychologically through our counselling teams
available via our Call Centre 08000CORONA

6. In addition, these individuals are given access to
our telemedicine services through the State￾owned *EKOTELEMED* , and are also visited
weekly by our doctors to ensure that they are recovering adequately and in a timely fashion.

7. In terms of our Isolation Centers, we have since,
last night, shut down our Eti-Osa Isolation
Center and will be shutting down our Agidingbi
Isolation Center and moving all the patients
there to our soon to be commissioned Indo￾Center.

8. Furthermore, our Infectious Diseases Hospital in
Yaba is now also gradually being reverted back
to its status as a hospital to cater to all forms of
infectious diseases. The Ca-Covid dedicated
tent on the IDH grounds will however remain
strictly for Covid-19 cases.

9. In June, we further expanded COVID-19 testing capacity in Lagos with the accreditation of seven private laboratories. In the week ending July 26,
2020, we successfully tested close to 9,000
samples in Lagos State, across the public and
private sector laboratories, a 50% increase from
the approximately 6,000 samples tested in each
of the preceding two weeks.

10. We believe that this increase in testing will
lead to an increase in the number of daily
confirmed cases of the Virus in Lagos State.
This is a welcome development, since our capacity to contain the pandemic depends significantly on how successful we are in
identifying all the existing cases.

11. I must however also mention that we have seen a general *decrease in positivity rates in Lagos State over the past two weeks* , which,
combined with the increase in testing numbers,
paints a very encouraging picture of the
outcome of our response strategy. We will continue to fine-tune our efforts and strategies to build on our successes and close any existing
gaps.

12. We are patterning our response strategy after
Mumbai, India, which like Lagos is a densely
populated mega-city with similar demographic
and climatic conditions. I must however say that
we are also recording similar results in terms of
our successes.

13. Dear Lagosians, having carefully reviewed the
current scenario in Lagos State, we have *taken some important decisions in line with the ongoing objective of calibrating an effective
balance between the competing demands of
safeguarding lives and enabling livelihoods.*

14. *First* , we are increasing the *permissible capacity for public gatherings from 20 to 50
persons* . This applies to a wide range of events,
from AGMs to funerals. Lagosians should please continue to keep in mind that there is
documented evidence that mass gatherings can
increase the spread of infectious diseases, such as coronavirus. As such, all standardprevention and control measures must be strictly adhered
to: physical distancing, mandatory temperature checks and use of masks in public places, regular disinfection of premises, and strong
personal hygiene.

15. *Places of Worship* in Lagos State will be
allowed to open from *Friday the 7th* of August
for our Muslim worshippers, and *Sunday the 9th* of August for Christian worshippers, but only at
50% of their capacity. Churches whose main
worship days fall on Saturdays, are permitted to hold their services on Saturdays, subject to the same guidelines as churches holding services on Sundays.

16. We must reiterate that Places of Worship are
only permitted to have their regular once-a-week
services on the designated days. For the
avoidance of doubt, churches are mosques are
not permitted to have other services or fellowships outside of their main weekly
services.

17. Places of Worship are allowed to schedule multiple services, on their designated worship
days, if necessary, as well as also encouraging as many people as possible to participate using
virtual means.

18. In addition, the following conditions must be
met and fulfilled by all Religious Centres and
Places of Worship that are planning to reopen:
a)Only regular services / gatherings are
permitted to hold. Night Vigils and other
non-regular programmes remain prohibited
until further notice.
b)Attendees over the age of sixty-five (65)
years are strongly discouraged from
attending worship services
c) Consider holding services and gatherings in
large, well-ventilated areas or outdoors, as
circumstances and faith traditions allow.
d)“No Facemask, No Entry” policy must be
maintained throughout the duration of the
services.
e)Regular cleaning and disinfection of
facilities must be carried out to maintain
clean and hygienic environments before
and after every service.
f) Appropriate screening equipment for
COVID-19 symptoms such as a contactless
temperature check must be available for
entrants into the facility.
g)It is mandatory to provide hand-washing
facilities and sanitizers at the entry and exit
point of the premises.
h)National emergency response phone lines
must be displayed prominently on the
premises.
i) Handshakes, Hugs and “high fives” are not
permitted at services or gatherings, and this should be emphasized by displaying
appropriate signs prominently.
j) The use of stationary collection boxes and
electronic methods for collection of offering
must be encouraged.
k) The flow of human traffic in and out of
these places of worship must be conducted
in an organized and orderly manner.

19. *Restaurants will now be permitted to open
for in-dining services* , from the 14th of August, on
the proviso that they maintain a 50% occupancy
capacity, and have also obtained a Provisional
Safety Compliance Certificate through the
registration portal of the Lagos State Safety
Commission: http://www.lasgsafetyreg.com.

20. *Social Clubs and Recreational* Centers
will also now be allowed to open from the 14th of
August 2020, on the condition that they have
applied for and obtained a Provisional Safety
Compliance Certificate through the registration portal of the Lagos State Safety Commission:
http://www.lasgsafetyreg.com. Note that these
Safety Clearance Certificates are at this time
being issued only to Social Clubs with Registered Trustees.

21. Clubs and Centers that reopen without
complying with these mandatoryrequirements
will be shut down and dealt with according to the
law. Note also that the closure of all Spas, Bars, Lounges, Night Clubs, Cinemas, Games
Arcades remains in place. The possible re￾opening of these places will be further reviewed
before the end of the month.

22. As a State Government we will be ramping up
our monitoring and enforcement work, to ensure
that all our guidelines and directives are
complied with to the letter. The relevant
agencies will be carrying out spot checks and
random inspections of businesses and facilities,
and defaulters will be sanctioned appropriately

23. Regarding our schools, *Secondary Schools
in Lagos will reopen* , as earlier communicated
by the Ministry of Education, from August 3rd,
for Exit Classes only – i.e. SS3 and Technical
Studies TEC3 students only. This will allow them
two weeks to participate in revision classes and
examinations in preparation for the forthcoming
West African Examinations (WAEC), which will
start on August 17, 2020.

24. All standard precautions must be put in place
by school authorities: handwashing facilities,
physical distancing, the use of face masks, and
so on. Officials of the Lagos State Government
will be inspecting all qualifying schools to ensure
that these requirements are fully met. The Lagos
State Government will make face masks
available to all schools to which this reopening
exemption applies, for the duration of the
reopening.

25. As I mentioned before, all civil servants in the
state’s unified public service system are to maintain status quo in line with the prevailing
guidelines issued by the Head of Service and
comply with the roster selections per MDA.
Those officers working from home at this time,
are to continue to avail themselves with the use
of the online Learning Management (LMS)
platforms.

26. As I mentioned in the last address, people
need to start taking responsibility for themselves
and their loved ones. Self-regulation is the order
of the day, and you should not wait for the
government to regulate you or your conduct,
even though we will be doing so, you must
ensure as matter of responsibility, that you are
self-regulating yourself in the interests of
yourself and loved ones.

27. I would also like to use this opportunity to
again appeal to our people to avoid non￾essential movement and try to remain indoors,
more so now with the partial closure of the third
mainland bridge and the attendant issues that come with such a major infrastructural
rehabilitation.

28. We will continue to keep you informed and
updated on the decisions that are taken for the
public health and safety of all of us. As stated
before, managing this pandemic requires careful
balancing of health and economic
considerations, and we will pursue this
balancing with a great sense of responsibility.

29. I would like to end by thanking all our frontline
health workers, and non-medical personnel –
drivers, cleaners, attendants – for your
continuing sacrifice and courage in the face of
one of the worst pandemics the world has ever
seen. I also thank the private sector for all their
support and cooperation, helping us raise our
capacity to test and treat patients.

30. Our gratitude also goes to ourMonitoring and
Compliance Teams at the State and LocalGovernment levels for their efforts so far, and charge them to not relent in the quest to ensure
full compliance. I equally thank all of our security
agencies – the Police; the Military; the
Department of State Security and the Civil
Defence Corps and others – for working hard to
help maintain law and order and enforce our
various directives.

31. As I close, let me use this opportunity to
celebrate all of the people of Lagos who are
taking advantage of the opportunities thrown up
by the pandemic to invest and innovate for the
good of the entire society.

32. A few days ago, I was privileged to
commission the first certified facility in Nigeria for the manufacture of medical grade face
masks.

An enterprising Nigerian company,
based here in Lagos, saw an opportunity in this
space, and decided to invest. They have now
completed a state-of-the-art factory that can
produce 240,000 medical masks daily.

33. This is yet another example of the
industrious and entrepreneurial energy of
Lagos. There are many stories like this around
us; I salute all of you, and assure that we will
continue to recognize and support you.

34. I thank you all for listening.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Governor of Lagos State
,1st August, 2020.

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