•As COVID-19 recedes
•Decline does not mean virus is over
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has announced that all primary and secondary schools in the state are to resume full academic activities from September 21, while the tertiary institutions are to re-open for academic activities from September 14, 2020.
Speaking at the 18th state-wide briefing held at the State House in Marina yesterday, the governor however noted that the September 21 resumption date for primary and secondary schools could be subjected to further review in the ongoing modelling of the state’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, the re-opening order is coming six months after all tertiary institutions and basic schools were shut on the order of the Government, following the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Sanwo-Olu said the decision to re-open the schools was carefully thought through, given the decline in the number of positive cases and the progress recorded in the state’s response, even as he’s asked the management of the schools to ensure adherence to the safety guidelines as they re-open their campuses for activities.
The governor also permitted the re-opening of recreational centres and social clubs that have registered trustees, but on the condition that they obtain a provisional Safety Compliance Certificate through the registration portal of the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC).
He said: “I am pleased to announce that tertiary institutions in Lagos State will re-open from September 14, 2020. We are also working towards the reopening of Primary and Secondary Schools anytime from September 21, 2020. However, the decision to re-open the basic and secondary schools is not cast in stone and is subject to a review of our ongoing modelling of the state’s response to the pandemic.
“Also, social clubs and recreational centers that have registered trustees have also been permitted to open, on the condition that they have applied for and obtained a Provisional Safety Compliance Certificate through the registration portal of the Lagos State Safety Commission. Restaurants are now permitted to open for in-dining services, but they must ensure the maintenance of a 50 per cent maximum occupancy at any point in time. They must also have obtained a provisional Safety Compliance Certificate.”
Sanwo-Olu said his government remained sympathetic to the plight of business owners, especially those operating in hospitality and tourism sectors, noting that the state was still reviewing the permissible opening dates for businesses tourism and hospitality industry, while pointing out that there would be concrete decisions on easing the lockdown on tourism businesses before the end of September.
He also directed that all event centers, bars, lounges, night clubs, spas, beaches, cinemas, gyms and game arcades to remain shut till further notice.
Meanwhile, as federal government prepares to re-open international airspace for traffic on September 5, Sanwo-Olu said the his government had started to work with the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to put adequate measures in place in order to guarantee the safety and well-being of Lagos residents in the light of resumption of international air-travel.
He, therefore, ordered civil servants in the state’s unified public service to comply with existing guidelines and roster schedules issued by the Head of Service and the heads of MDAs.
“As a government, we will continue to keep our citizens informed and updated on the decisions that we are taking in response to the pandemic. We will also continue to ask for your understanding and cooperation. These are challenging times for all of us, and it requires extra levels of patience, sacrifice and understanding,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu explained that the observed decline in the number of positive cases did not mean the pandemic was over and thus, urged residents to continue to adhere to the safety guidelines outlined by the health authorities.
“The fact that we have been seeing a gradual easing of the lockdown does not mean that we are now returning to our old way of doing things. The easing you are seeing is the outcome of a careful and deliberate attempt to ensure that livelihoods are not crippled by the overwhelmingly disruptive impact of the virus. It is certainly not an invitation to carelessness or nonchalance,” the Governor said.
He also hinted that the State’s Deputy Incident Commander and Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, had been discharging his duty and responding to treatment, noting that he has remained asymptomatic.
Sanwo-Olu, at the briefing, launched a COVID-19 Care Pack, which contains medications, hand sanitizer, facemasks and handy medical equipment that could be used to check temperature.
The Care Pack is to be given to those who have been confirmed positive of the COVID-19 free of charge and who prefer home-based care.