Lagos govt extends work-from-home directive as COVID-19 surges on

…state negotiates with vaccine manufacturers for supply

Following the increase in the number of recorded cases of coronavirus in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has extended the work-from-home directive to all state public servants on Grade Levels 14 and below to Monday, February 1, 2021.

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s directive was contained in a circular to members of the State Executive Council and all heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies issued and signed by the Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola, on Saturday.

According to the governor, the directive on the extension of the resumption date for Grade Level 14 and below from January 18 to February 1 is part of efforts to curtail the spread of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

The directive, however, excludes essential duty staff, as well as first responders.

All public servants and residents of the state have, therefore, been urged to keep adhering to COVID-19 protocols in order to rid the state of the pandemic in the shortest possible time.

Public and private schools are, however, still scheduled to resume on January 18.

As of Friday, Nigeria had recorded 1,867 new cases of COVID-19, making it the highest daily record in the country ever.

Of the new cases, Lagos recorded its highest ever with 713 new infections followed by Plateau and the FCT with 273 and 199 cases respectively.

The total caseload of the country now stands at 107,345.

However, of the total cases, 84,535 persons have recovered and have been discharged from isolation centres.

1,413 have died from the virus.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government is currently in discussion with manufacturers of COVID-19 viral vector vaccine with a view to making vaccine available to residents amid spike in cases of patients infected with the virus.

The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Moyosore Onibanjo, SAN, disclosed this on Saturday while reacting to a statement addressed to him by a concerned citizen, simply identified as Mr. Uthman, accusing the state government of incapacity and unwillingness to enforce compliance with COVID-19 pandemic protocols in the state.

Speaking on the availability of vaccine in the state, Onibanjo said the measure became necessary following rising cases of patients needing treatments urgently.

According to him, “It is correct that Lagos State has the highest number of infections and sadly fatalities from COVID-19 in Nigeria. The State Government itself never shied away from admitting that Lagos is indeed the epicenter of the virus in Nigeria. But is it “business-as-usual”? Most certainly not.

“Since the first index patient was confirmed on 27 February 2020, Lagos State Government has led from the front in tackling the pandemic. It was Lagos State who also first introduced; reduced working hours for all sectors of the economy in the State; directed that all its staff between levels 1-14 should work from home; closed all bars, gyms, lounges and cinemas; restricted restaurants to offering take-out services only; and closed worship centres.

“The first lockdown, to contain the pandemic was declared in Lagos on 30 March 2020.

“The first fully equipped isolation centres sprang up in Lagos. At its peak the State had a total bed space of 600 reserved exclusively for COVID-19 patients. The State also led and still leads nationwide in administering COVID- 19 tests.

“As at date we are testing about 3000 persons a day from 60 public and 20 private Sample collection centres, spread out across 57 Local Government and Central Public Health Labs in the State.

“Thousands of people have been successfully treated and discharged from our isolation centres and home based care to date.

“When the second wave started, Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (even while just recovering from being infected with the virus) addressed a press conference on 18 December 2020 and shut down, nightclubs, lounges, concerts and bars.

“A plan to construct three oxygen plants was launched and on the 8th of January 2021 the first installed oxygen plant was commissioned at Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba. This is capable of producing 60 large cylinders a day of high grade medical oxygen.

“The state government is also currently discussing with vaccine manufacturers with a view to making vaccines available to Lagosians.

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