Covid-19 Update: LAGOS CONSIDERS FULL RE-OPENING OF ECONOMY, EMBARKS ON ASSESSMENT OF READINESS OF BUSINESSES

LASEPA, Safety Commission To Re-Register, Assess Businesses Before Re-Opening
•‘Infected Govt House Staffers Have Recovered’ – Governor

Gov. Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State is considering full re-opening of the critical sectors of its economy, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, revealed on Sunday. But, the move will not be pushed in a hurry.

A press release signed by
Gboyega Akosile, Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos State Governor and issued on May 17, 2020, disclosed that, in the coming days, Governor Sanwo-Olu and the State Government would be rolling out Register-to-Open initiative as part of the plans that would enable it assess the level of readiness of the players in the identified sectors for supervised operations.

According to the press release, the Governor spoke at a briefing after the State’s Security Council meeting held at the State House in Marina.
Sanwo-Olu said officials from the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) will be visiting restaurants, companies, religious houses to assess their level of readiness.

With the size of the State’s economy and numbers of businesses that operate in its domain, the Governor said the Government could not afford to keep people and businesses on lockdown permanently.

He said: “We are at a level where we are reviewing the other arms of the economy. In the coming days, we will be starting what we call Register-to-Open, which means all players in the restaurant business, event centres, entertaiment, malls and cinemas will go through a form of re-registration and space management.

“There is a regulation that will be introduced to supervise this move. We will be coming to their facilities to assess their level of readiness for a future opening. I don’t know when that opening will happen in the weeks ahead, but we want these businesses to begin to tune themselves to the reality of COVID-19 with respect to how their work spaces need to look like.

“For us, it is not to say they should re-open fully tomorrow or any time; there has (to) be a process guiding the re-opening. We will be mandating LASEPA and Safety Commission to begin the enumeration process and the agencies will be communicating with all relevant businesses and houses in the days ahead.

“I must, however, caution that this should not be misinterpreted as a licence for full opening; it is certainly not. The State’s economy is not ready for that now.”

Sanwo-Olu said that Government agencies also would be visiting places of worship to evaluate their level of preparedness ahead of full reopening and stressed that social distancing and hygiene would be fully considered in determining whether mosques and churches can re-open in the future.

“We are reviewing and considering how the phased unlocking will happen. If we see huge level of compliance, then it can happen in the next two to three weeks. If not, it could take a month or two months. It is until we are sure all of these players are ready to conform to our guidelines,” the Governor asserted.

Sanwo-Olu urged businesses, religious houses and residents to maintain the status quo while the State works out modalities for full re-opening, even as he confirmed that all the 10 staff of the Government House who tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) had fully recovered and returned to their beats.

He said the disclosure was necessary to further promote transparency in the reporting and management of coronavirus cases by the State Government and enjoined banks and markets to strictly enforce orderliness in their premises.

Governor Sanwo-Olu further directed that elderly people must be given the priority to transact their businesses in banks and markets between 9am and 10:30am, after which other younger customers should be allowed to transact.

Lagos residents, the Governor charged, must not take the easing of lockdown for granted, saying everyone residing in the State must collectively.

TEXT OF GOVERNOR SANWO-OLU’S ADDRESS

Gov. Sanwo-Olu

Dear Lagosians,

As we prepare to open more businesses and other sectors of our economy, I will like to announce the soon to be launched Register-to-Open initiative.

The Register-to-Open initiative will be monitored by the Lagos State Safety Commission and LASEPA to assess the readiness of businesses in the identified sectors for supervised operations.

We are at a level where we are reviewing other arms of the economy. We want these businesses to begin to tune themselves to the realities of #COVID19 with respect to how their spaces need to look to reopen with a strict process for monitoring and space management.

We are still in the process of reviewing and considering how the phased unlocking will happen. The length this will take will determine on the level of compliance and the level of conformity to our guidelines that we see.

I am also happy to inform you that all staff of the State House that contracted #COVID19 have fully recovered and have tested negative.

I want to reiterate that moving around without a mask and failing to observe other public health guidelines puts you and your family at risk.

Everyone residing in Lagos must collectively #TakeResponsibility for public health safety. I enjoin banks and markets to strictly enforce order in their premises. It is imperative that we do not take the easing of the lockdown for granted.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we are unhappy with the level of compliance by yellow buses and inter-state travel. We are seeking collaboration with the Ogun State government and the police to ensure obedience on this directive.

We must do better at complying with the guidelines on #EasingTheLockdown. They are in place for our benefit. They are not a form of punishment. We don’t want to have to use force to drive compliance. We must learn to be self-compliant.

I want to also thank everybody that used the Whistleblower Hotline. The encouraging feedback and incident reporting has helped us drive compliance in places of business.

With everyone doing the right thing, we will get through this.

Remember to always #TakeResponsibility

NEWS EXTRA

I bring you great news from our isolation facilities.Yesterdayt, a pregnant #COVID19 patient was delivered of a baby boy at the Gbagada Isolation Centre. Both mother and child are doing well.

Also, 67 fully recovered #COVID19 patients; 22 females and 45 males including 3 foreign nationals – 2 Indians and a Chinese were discharged to join the society.

The patients; 24 from the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba, 22 from Onikan, 11 from Agidingbi, 2 from Lekki and 8 from Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) Isolation Centres were discharged after testing negative to #COVID19 in two consecutive readings.

As our front line health workers record successes in the battle against #COVID19, we urge citizens to adhere strictly to public health directives as this is the only way we can break the chain of transmission of the infection.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

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