Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has ordered the closure of all markets in the state except those selling medical equipment, provisions, water, and foodstuff.
In a press conference on Tuesday, the governor said the closure takes effect from Thursday, March 26.
He said Lagos could not afford a total lockdown because of the economic implication but measures needed to be put in place to check the spread of the virus.
He said: “I am here again this afternoon to update you on the COVID-19 situation in Lagos state, as well as the latest steps we are taking to tackle this disease that has thrown much of the world into disarray.
“Since my last address to you on Sunday, March 22, 2020, we have seen an increase in the total number of confirmed cases nationwide with Lagos leading the pack with the most number of newly confirmed cases.
“Here in Lagos, we have seen a significant jump in our numbers from 19 as at the last time I addressed you on Sunday, to 28 as at today’s briefing. This shows that our numbers are increasing as predicted, but we are also proactively and promptly tracking, isolating and managing the suspected cases; as well as the confirmed ones at the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba.
“All public parks, including those in private and residential estates, swimming pools, gyms, beauty salons, and all such public places are expected to shut down at this time, until further notice.
“All open markets and stores are directed to close, except for sellers of food and medicines, medical equipment and other essential life-saving products. For those that fall into the aforementioned categories, it is imperative that they observe necessary precautionary measures of social distancing.
“It is not a total lockdown, we still want people on essential services to go about their normal activities. We are trying to de-centralise markets in Lagos. This is why we want to use some of our closed schools as markets, so people can buy food and medicine without going a long distance.
“It is only when you are alive that you can talk about economics and finance.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 42 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nigeria, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
More to come…