DANIELS G. O
It is with deep gratitude to the Almighty God for his kindness and mercies, that I address you today, December 24, 2020, as we count down to Christmas Day, when the world commemorates the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s ultimate sacrifice for the salvation of mankind.
I am equally grateful to the medical personnel who have cared for me over the last two weeks, since my COVID-19 diagnosis; and to you the good people of Lagos State for your well wishes and prayers regarding my health.
I spent 14 days in isolation, experiencing mostly moderate symptoms. It was an experience I am very glad to have put behind me.
I received very dedicated and competent care from the Lagos State COVID-19 Treatment Team, and I am extremely proud of the work that they do. They are a big part of the success story of the Lagos State COVID-19 Response.
I was fortunate to have had a relatively moderate COVID-19 experience. About one in every ten persons who contracts the disease in Lagos State is not so lucky; they have to go into intensive care, and some of them do not make it out alive.
For this reason, my gratitude is deep and profuse.
And it is also for this reason, that I am here to appeal to us all today, that the best way to be lucky is not to get infected in the first place. The cliché, prevention is better than cure, should be a watchword for each and every one of us at this moment in time.
Fellow Lagosians, let me sound this note of warning again, as I have done from the onset of this pandemic, COVID-19 is real. It is here with us, and it is not a respecter of anyone, or of social class, religious belief, or partisan affiliation.
Not only is COVID-19 here with us, this second wave we are currently seeing is proving to be more ambitious than the first wave. We are seeing infection figures that are surpassing what we saw at the peak of the first wave, and, just like then, Lagos remains the epicentre.
As Nigeria’s most populous and densely-populated city, and a centre of international trade and commerce, this is not surprising in any way. But it is also the reason we need to exercise an abundance of caution.
World over, Christmas is associated with gathering, merriment and traveling – which all, sadly, contribute to the spread of the Coronavirus. We must now seek to minimize as much of these activities as we can, at this time and going forward.
Remember that by acting responsibly, you’re not doing only yourself a favour, you’re doing other people a favour, especially those among us who are elderly or medically vulnerable.
Here are the steps we must all take note of and abide by during this Christmas period and into the New Year:
All persons feeling symptoms associated with the Coronavirus must immediately isolate themselves and contact any of our Public Testing Facilities, where a Test will be arranged free of charge.
Please do not assume that you have a case of malaria or other illness. The default position should be to test for Covid and rule this out, due to the easy transmissibility of the disease.
Persons who have tested positive to the Coronavirus must be open and honest with anyone they may have interacted with while infected, so that effective tracing can be done and exposed persons can take appropriate measures to self-isolate and not further spread the disease. We must not hide our status from the people we have been in contact with.
All non-essential travel plans, whether local or international, should be suspended or cancelled at this time, until further notice.
Passengers arriving in Nigeria from abroad must ensure that they submit themselves for their post arrival testing as advised, seven days after arrival in the country. Doing otherwise, puts the health and well-being of the loved ones they came to visit in jeopardy.
We must all do everything in our power to protect the elderly and the medically vulnerable among us. This might mean postponing that long-planned trip home.
All events and gatherings, whether for religious or social reasons, must abide by the guidelines which we have issued regarding maximum capacity for venues and mandatory handwashing and mask usage.
All establishments in Lagos State must implement a No-Mask-No-Entry policy for visitors and clients.
There is no justification at this time for socializing without caution. In fact, as much as is possible all socializing should be kept to the barest minimum or completely jettisoned.
We will bring the full weight of the law to bear on all those flouting the stated directives.
Dear Lagosians, let this Christmas be a period of sober reflection. The quicker we are able to tame this raging virus, through responsible behavior, the higher the likelihood that we will enjoy a 2021 that is not as restrictive and challenging as 2020.
It is up to us; the choice is ours. If we continue to insist on irresponsible behavior, then we will have to pay the price, medically, socially, and economically. Having survived the infection, I believe I am in a very good position to let you all know that the best outcome is to avoid getting infected.
This month alone we have lost 12 persons to the Coronavirus. Each of those individuals is more than just a statistic; they are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, siblings, and loved ones. We pray that their souls will rest in peace.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year . May the joy and blessings of this Season be with us now and forever more, Amen.
Governor of Lagos State
Chief Incident Commander, Lagos State
24 December 2020