By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government on Wednesday embarked on strict enforcement of COVID-19 safety protocols on staff and visitors at the state’s Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, as part of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Recall that the state government has stepped up measures to prevent further spread following rising cases of the ravaging virus amid the second wave.
As early as 7 am when the gates of the Secretariat were opened for normal activities, safety team from the state government, including security personnel were seen screening everyone coming into the premises for clearance.
Those who did not keep to the basic safety protocols like the use of face mask were turned back to get a face mask, while safety officers were checking temperature level, with infrared-thermometer.
Lagos State Government had earlier warned that law enforcement agents would continue to arrest and prosecute residents who violate COVID-19 guidelines and directives issued to curtail the spread of the deadly virus.
According to Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, the enforcement will continue across the state to stop the virus, which continues to kill.
Omotoso therefore, urged residents to avoid large gatherings and ensure strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.
He stressed, “The second wave of the pandemic has continued to spread faster among Lagosians with increased cases of patients being admitted at isolation centres.
“COVID-19 is real. The second wave is deadlier and spreads faster. People should observe the practices of physical distancing; wearing of face masks; regular washing of hands and use of hand sanitisers always.”
Lagos State Government has expressed worries over rising cases of civil servants testing positive for COVID-19 in the state.
Determined to stem the dangerous trend, the Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola has issued a new directive to workers on safety protocols.
Muri-Okunola, in an internal memo, addressed to Accounting Officers, decried the spate at which civil servants are testing positive to Covid-19, saying that the development calls for serious concern and caution.
He, therefore, directed them to come up with a strategy to stem the outbreak in their respective Ministries, Department and Agencies, MDAs, to reduce the spread.
“I wish to note with deep concern the spate at which Officers are testing positive to COVID-19 and hereby enjoin all Accounting Officers to come up with Duty Rosters to stem the outbreak in your respective MDAs.
“The roster should be prepared with an Officer having to report for duty at most twice a month.
“Please note that this directive is without prejudice to existing directives and only reinforces same which are in effect and compliance abysmal.”
Recall that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had earlier directed officers from level 14 and below to work from home till January 18 which is subject to review.
Also, on Tuesday, Lagos State Government activated an Oxygen Plant within the premises of the Infectious Diseases Hospital, IDH, Yaba to provide swift support to COVID-19 patients who require oxygen therapy.
Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who activated the plant on Tuesday, amid the increasing demand for oxygen at the isolation centre which is occasioned by the second wave of COVID19 infection noted that the deployment and activation of the oxygen plant is in furtherance of the commitment of the state government to effectively respond to the pandemic.
He explained that the increased demand for oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients in the second wave of the pandemic necessitated the activation of oxygen generation capacity in the state.
Also, the Lagos State House of Assembly Muslim Community has suspended Jumat prayer activities until further notice.
According to the League of Imams, in a statement, said the suspension became necessary in order to curtail the spread of Covid-19 which is increasing in number on daily basis in the state.
The Imams also noted that the restriction and directive by the State Government on all social gatherings is a sure and pragmatic way to reduce the spread of the deadly virus in the state.
“We the Muslim Community of the Assembly would cooperate with the State Government by following and obeying its directive on reducing the spread of the second wave of Covid-19.
“We are not going to put the lives of our Muslim brothers and sisters in danger. Hence, there is a need to advise our Muslim faithful to stay away from Jumat Service indefinitely pending the outcome of further government directive.” Imams stated.