Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub and epicenter of COVID-19 will restart its economy in a multi-phase manner after weeks of lockdown for the coronavirus outbreak, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state governor said late Wednesday.
The strategy will see markets and shops opening daily from 9am till 3pm on selected days, Sanwo-Olu told at his daily briefing, adding everyone attending markets and shops would be mandated to observe precautionary measures of social distancing and very high level of personal and hand hygiene.
According to the governor, all medical establishments will continue to open, and maintain a high index of suspicion for COVID-19 and all suspected cases of COVID-19 must be immediately reported to the state government.
However, schools and religious centers will remain closed, said Sanwo-Olu.
Sanwo-Olu said the capacity of public transportation system to reduce the risk of contagion would also be strengthened by a number of proactive measures to be taken. All commuters were mandated to wear face masks at all times, sanitize with alcohol-based sanitizer or wash their hands with soap and running water before and after every trip.
Commercial motorcycles were to suspend their operations statewide, except for those motorcycles used for courier and logistics purposes, he said. Tricycles operating in unrestricted areas must not carry more than two passengers per trip and must ensure appropriate social distancing was maintained between passengers.
The governor told reporters that all activities within the entertainment industry, including beer parlors, hotels, casino, among others, would also remain closed until further notice.
Lagos reported the first COVID-19 case at the end of February and currently has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
According to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control(NCDC), as at 11:55pm on Wednesday, 1,728 confirmed cases have been reported in Nigeria, among them 931 cases in Lagos.
The state has been on federal government-ordered lockdown since March 30 as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari announced on Monday a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in the Federal Capital Territory and the two states of Lagos and Ogun effective from May 4, to allow the restoration of some economic and business activities in certain sectors. Enditem