Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said mortuaries in Lagos state are now in a congested shape and may be compelled to conduct mass burial if the state mortuaries are not decongested in the next two weeks.
Sanwo-Olu made this known while giving updates on the efforts put in place against Covid-19 crisis in the state, a media briefing held yesterday Saturday, April 25, where he was giving an evaluation update on the state of Covid-19 pandemic in Lagos.
He lamented that mortuaries in the state are in a congested shape and government may be “compelled to have a mass burial” if those mortuaries are not decongested in the next two weeks.
“If we’re unable to see a decongestion of mortuaries across the state within the next two weeks, Lagos state government will now be compelled to seek to have a mass burial and we would not want to force this on anybody, which is why we are asking for the cooperation of all of us,” he said.
“This is not the time when you need to wait for your brother or your sister or your sibling, who is 10,000km or 6,000km away from here for them to come back before you can have the funeral.”
The governor, who noted that corpses are not Covid-19 related, lamented how corpses are abandoned by relatives of the deceased.
He further warned that even though residents will be allowed to make burial, organising a party before and after the burial will not be tolerated.
Sanwo-Olu further emphasised that all hands must be on deck to ensure that battle against coronavirus is won.
The Governor also said the use of face mask will henceforth become compulsory as that is one of the ways to prevent community transmission of Covid-19.
This is what Governor Sanwo-Olu said:
“Earlier today, I gave an order that families who have corpses of loved ones in our mortuaries have 2 weeks to pick the bodies for funeral so as to decongest our facilities.
For about two months there have been no funerals in Lagos due to the Lent period and restrictions occasioned by #COVID19.
You can hold funeral ceremonies in Lagos State as long as you comply with the requirements that we have outlined, which are as follows: the total number of persons at the funeral, including officiating religious leaders, must not exceed 20; appropriate physical distancing must be maintained at the funeral ceremony, all attendees/mourners must use masks and ensure they wash their hands after the ceremony.
There also must be NO receptions or parties to accompany these funerals; be rest assured that as long as these directives are fully complied with, funerals will be allowed and encouraged to take place.
If we are unable to see a decongestion of the mortuaries across the State in the next two weeks, the Lagos State Government will be compelled to carry out mass burials to achieve this. We do not want to be forced to do this, which is why we are asking for your cooperation in this regard.
I also ordered the release of 209 inmates of correctional centres in Lagos. This was done in part to decongest correctional centres in view of the #COVID19 pandemic and is part of a larger effort to bring lasting reform to the administration of criminal justice in the country.
As at midnight yesterday April 24, 2020, Lagos State has a total of 670 confirmed cases of #COVID19. What this means is that we have seen a 76 per cent increase in our number of confirmed cases within four days, an average of 70 cases daily. This increase shows three things; One, that we are now firmly in the community transmission phase of this pandemic in Lagos; Two, that our strategy of ramping up testing especially within local communities is working, and, Three, that this is not the time for us to relax or to slow down in the efforts we are making to break the chain of transmission.
Let continue to follow all health advisory, stay at home and observe a high level of personal hygiene and take note that the use of face masks is now compulsory in public places in Lagos State.
Together, as one Lagos, we will beat #COVID19.