1. As at midnight on July 02, 2020, Lagos State had recorded a total of 10,639 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 2,681 have fully recovered and have been discharged, while 177 have sadly died.
2. We take very seriously the fact that we are the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria. For us in Lagos State it is a constant call-to-action; a strong reminder of the responsibilities that lie upon us, to be aggressive and proactive in our response, and to show leadership on the sub-national level.
3. In line with our promise to ramp up access to testing, we have now registered seven (7) private laboratories to supplement existing testing efforts. These are SynLab, Clina-Lancet, Medbury Medical Services, Total Medical Services, O2 Medical Services, Biologix, and 54Gene.
4. We are also constantly reviewing our Testing Strategy, to adapt to the evolving nature of the pandemic. Going forward, there will be two categories of people who qualify for testing for COVID-19 in Lagos State, as follows:
5. The first category will be those who need to be tested; who fit the case definition for testing and therefore actually require testing.
This category of people will continue to be tested free of charge by the State Government through our public laboratories, and everyone who meets the case definition for COVID-19 will be tested. What this means is that if you’re showing symptoms of the infection, or you have had contact with a confirmed case, or have been exposed to a location where confirmed cases have been reported, you are entitled to free testing by the Lagos State Government.
6. The second category will be those who do not meet the case definition for COVID-19, but want to test for COVID-19 simply to fulfil their curiosity, or to meet requirements to travel, or to return to work, or fulfill some other regulatory requirement. This category of people will have access to testing by newly-accredited private labs, but this will be at a cost that will be duly communicated by the Laboratories.
The State Government will exercise strict oversight and control, to ensure that standards are maintained and consumers are not exploited.
7. Let me make it clear that testing by non-accredited facilities is prohibited, and we will bring the full weight of the law to bear on any Laboratories found to be violating this directive.
8. We are similarly scaling up the capacity of our Isolation Centers. On Sunday June 28, 2020, Lagos State opened a new 150-bed Isolation Centre at the Mainland Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba, donated by the private sector-led Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID). This new Center brings to seven the number of publicly-managed COVID-19 Isolation Centres in Lagos State.
9. Let me assure you that more centers are underway, through various collaborations with the Federal Government and the private sector. We want to ensure that we have more than enough capacity to manage and treat all of the new cases that will inevitably emerge from the increase in testing. We thank the coalition for their efforts in this regard.
10. Dear Lagosians, as you are all aware, this week the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 issued updated guidelines on the Easing of the Lockdown. The PTF announced that President Buhari has approved the extension, with minor modifications, of the ongoing Phase of the Ease, for another 4 weeks, from June 30 until July 27, 2020.
11. Lagos State will continue to take our guidance from the advisories issued by the Presidential Task Force.
12. Let me now recap the highlights of the modified guidelines concerning what is permitted and what is not permitted in Lagos at this time:
a. The nationwide curfew remains in force from 10pm to 4am, daily.
b. Places of worship will remain closed in Lagos State, until further notice.
c. All Social and Events Centers, and Social Clubs, will also remain closed, for now. However, a list of Social Clubs with verifiable Trustees and Governing Board that have met strict guidelines will be released from time to time for supervised openings, as approved by The Incident Commander on the recommendation of the Lagos State Safety Commission.
d. Only Social Clubs in possession of a valid Provisional Safety Clearance Letter from the Safety Commission will be permitted to open, and they will in addition have to comply with all hygiene and physical distancing measures. We will not tolerate any violation of this directive.
e. All bars, day and night clubs, cinemas, games arcades, beaches and beach fronts, gyms and spas continue to remain closed. Eateries and restaurants are to continue to open as normal for takeout only. In-dining is still prohibited and a few defaulters in this regard will be shut down and prosecuted.
f. All schools and educational institutions will remain closed. We continue to support online teaching of curriculum during this period. However, students in transitional classes, who have mandatory Public exams ahead of them are permitted to resume at only day schools as soon as possible for revision classes and examination.
All educational establishments are to follow established public health guidelines and protocol for re-opening the schools for these categories of students.
g. For the avoidance of doubt, students impacted by this directive are those in primary 6; J.S.3 and S.S.3. Commencement dates for this opening will be announced after such schools have met the required guidelines and protocols and provision of essentials for both students and teachers alike.
h. Our Tertiary Institutions are to continue their online academic activities which are at various advanced stages.
i. All restrictions applying to mass gatherings will remain in force. That is, no more than 20 persons permitted, and this includes funerals as well.
j. Opening times for government and private offices, markets, supermarkets, eateries and so on, will remain as approved.
k. In our Public Service, we will not be making any changes at this time but encourage our staff working from home to continue to improve themselves through the various online Learning Management Systems (LMS) portals that we have enrolled them onto in line with the circulars issued by The Head of Service.
13. Let me now go on to highlight the areas in which changes have been made:
a. Hairdressing salons that have been accredited by the Lagos State Safety Commission may begin to open strictly on appointment-only basis, with a maximum occupancy of forty percent (40%) of the total floor space at any given time.
b. Communal sports facilities and the use of recreational parks in residential estates will now be permitted to operate, with a maximum of 20 persons at any given time.
This is to promote wellbeing and wellness. Residents’ Associations are meant to strictly adhere to these guidelines in the interest of public health and the mantra of taking personal responsibility.
c. The Federal Government has approved the reopening of the Airport in Lagos for domestic operations from Wednesday July 8, 2020.
The relevant Federal Agencies are putting out additional information to guide intending passengers and airport users; I enjoin everyone to look out for this information.
14. Dear Lagosians, The Lagos State Government’s registration portal for businesses: http://www.lasgsafetyreg.com, has continued its work in recent weeks, registering relevant businesses and collating data that will enable us make and enforce the right decisions regarding plans for a full reopening of the economy in the future. I encourage all business owners and managers in Lagos State, in the entertainment and recreation sector, to visit the portal for more information.
15. At this phase in the evolution of the pandemic in our society, taking personal responsibility is now more important than ever, not only for self-protection, but also for protecting other people, including your loved ones.
16. Mask usage is mandatory in public places. We are asking offices and business and commercial premises to refuse entry to any persons not wearing masks, in line with the Presidential Task Force directive on “No mask, no entry. No mask, no service.” Enforcement agencies will from this week charge defaulters to court, as the period of grace is now over.
17. Dear Lagosians, please continue to wash your hands regularly. As much as is possible maintain social distancing especially in public places.
18. On our part as a Government, we will continue to do everything possible to protect and uphold the health and wellbeing of the people of Lagos State. You can see the evidence of this in the commitment we are putting into scaling up testing and isolation capacity, and enforcing the guidelines we have issued.
19. With regards to enforcement, we are increasing our focus and efforts in this area. As you all know, guidelines and directives are effective only to the extent to which they are complied with by the citizenry. The best laws and guidelines are of no use if they are disregarded by the people for whom they have been issued.
20. Lagos State belongs to all of us. We must all join hands to ensure that we defeat this virus.
21. I would like to remind you all of our COVID-19 hotline, 08000CORONA. It is available round the clock for you to make reports, seek testing, and for infected persons to gain access to counselling and psychological support during the period of isolation and treatment.
22. As always, our deepest gratitude is reserved for all those hardworking and sacrificial men and women at the frontlines of the pandemic response: Medical Workers, Laboratory personnel, Contact Tracing Teams, support personnel like our Call Center Workers, Drivers, Cleaners, Waste Disposal Workers, our Monitoring Teams at the State and Local Government level, and all our law enforcement agencies.
23. Your work and your sacrifices on behalf of all of us the people of Lagos State will never be forgotten.
24. I thank you all for listening.
Governor of Lagos State
3rd July, 2020.