Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has said that there is a possibility of the state going through a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic with doomy effect.
The governor disclosed this on Sunday while giving an update on the COVID-19 situation in the state and ongoing response as a government
He noted that the country stands the risk of losing both lives and livelihood on a devastating scale.
Sanwo-Olu said: “From the end of March 2021, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Lagos began to wind down, and we began to enjoy some reprieve from the worst effects of the virus. This enabled us to further open up the economy to allow the start of the journey towards full normalcy in our lives and the pursuit of livelihoods, after what has been a very difficult year.
“Regrettably, in spite of the hard work and dedicated efforts towards sustaining the return to normalcy, over the last three months, we are now finding ourselves at what appears to be the start of a potential 3rd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, in Lagos State.
“From the beginning of July, we started to experience a steep increase in the number of daily confirmed cases, with the test positivity rate going from 1.1 per cent at the end of June 2021 to its current rate of 6.6 per cent as of July 8, 2021. The rapid increase within a week gives great cause for concern.
“Also, within the last two weeks, the occupancy rate at our isolation centres increased from an average of 1 per cent to 6 per cent. This is the new and disturbing reality that now confronts us.
“But we must not be demoralised by this. We must instead resolve that we will not leave any stone unturned in our bid to effectively mitigate the third wave of this pandemic in Lagos. As you all know, Lagos has been the epicentre of the pandemic since the start, and the way we manage it here has a significant impact and reverberating effect on the national outlook and outcomes.
“It is only by testing and sequencing comprehensively that we can collect the data required for informed decision-making.”
On travel protocols for inbound passengers, the governor said: “Between May 8, 2021, and July 7, 2021, a total of 50,322 passengers of interest arrived in Lagos via the Murtala Mohammed Airport. Of the 50,322 passengers, 18 per cent could not be reached by EKOTELEMED because of the provision of either wrong numbers or wrong Nigerian contact details to be reached on.
“Going forward, passengers that do not provide the right details, including a phone number that cannot be reached for monitoring and an address for isolation, will face serious sanctions including fines and imprisonment according to our Lagos State Coronavirus Law of 2021.
“As dictated by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), passengers from red-listed countries (India, South Africa, Brazil and Turkey) are required to observe mandatory isolation. So far, we have successfully isolated 2,386 passengers in Lagos State. Of this number, 15 per cent have absconded.
“The following sanctions are being recommended and have already been meted out to defaulters: For Foreigners: Revocation of their Permanent Residency, and deportation; and for Nigerians: Prosecution to the full extent of the Lagos State COVID-19 Law.”
In preparation for the Sallah celebration, the governor said: “Greater vigilance is required at this time in our Churches and Mosques and other places of religious worship. We must not allow ourselves to be carried away by the illusion that all is now back to normal. This is especially critical, as Sallah approaches, in a little over a week from now.
“The festivities will no doubt bring people together in large numbers and create conditions that can sadly cause the spread of the Coronavirus. We must not allow this to happen.
“We are mandating full compliance with all protective protocols. Compulsory use of masks in all public places, social distancing, temperature checks, Provisions for hand-washing and sanitisers, and a maximum of 50 per cent occupancy in enclosed spaces.”