Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says Lagosians cannot afford yet another total lockdown as the state enters the second wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital, was locked down for over a month between March and May this year as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown had a tremendous effect on economic activities with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry putting the loss at about N3bn in the period under review.
Many jobs were also lost as airlines, hotels, banks, amongst others cut their workforce due to the crushing effect of the lockdown.
The governor, in a statement on Saturday, said a fresh lockdown would be inimical to the state’s healing economy, urging all Lagosians to observe all prescribed protocols by health authorities, including the use of face masks, social distancing and regular handwashing.
Sanwo-Olu said, “Yesterday, we issued guidelines to help us in the next phase of our battle with the virus. Lagosians have relaxed and the effects are evident with increasing cases and unfortunate deaths.
“These guidelines will affect us all but we need to be strong and we need to persevere.
“We cannot afford another total lockdown so I enjoin us to keep observing the prescribed protocols and the required lifestyle adjustments that will help us enter 2021 stronger, healthier, and safer.”
Sanwo-Olu, who is in isolation after he contracted COVID-19, also appreciated the prayers and support of all Lagosians and Nigerians.
He said, “I am overwhelmed by your show of love and concern about my health and wellbeing. I must admit that the gesture touched me deeply and reaffirmed our connection to one another as humans.
“I acknowledge and thank you very sincerely and pray that none of us will lose our lives to COVID-19, and in any other preventable circumstance.
“To families that have lost loved ones to the virus, I pray that God grants you the fortitude to bear the loss.”
Lagos is a major entry point in Nigeria with over 60% of incoming passenger traffic going through the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in the state. The state has also recorded over 24,000 infections, including more than 200 associated deaths.