COVID-19: Ogun govt eases lockdown

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People walk through Balogun market in streets around Lagos Island on May 5, 2017. Lagos is the world's 10th largest city with between 17 and 22 million people, although no-one seems to be counting. / AFP PHOTO / STEFAN HEUNIS

The Ogun State Government has lifted the lockdown order pronounced on the state, since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic to combat the spread of the disease from Monday to Friday.

This was contained in the address of the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Thursday, while updating the efforts of his administration in containing the virus.

The governor noted that the state had been on lockdown for over eight weeks, with the government providing three days of window relaxation in a week.

He, however, said that the state would be on lockdown on Saturday and Sunday only till further notice.

The governor noted that members of the public would now go out from Monday to Friday.

The governor said: “It is now over 8 weeks since the President directed the lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; Lagos and Ogun States. You will recall that following this Presidential directive, we made a request to the President, which he graciously granted, that the commencement of the lockdown in our State should be delayed by one week.

“This was to enable the residents stock up for the period of the lockdown and make other preparations. It was to also allow the state to procure and finalise the logistics of distribution of palliative items to cushion the effect of the lockdown on our citizens.

” In addition, Ogun State was the only location that from the onset provided three days of windows of relaxation of the lockdown in a week i.e. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The initial window was from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm. and it was later eased to 7.00 am to 5.00pm ahead of the daily curfew starting from 8:00 pm to 6:00 am as announced by the President.

“These variations and relaxation in the implementation of the lockdown in Ogun State were informed by our peculiarity and geography and the need of our people to have windows to conduct essential economic activities.

Besides, as the industrial capital of the nation with the largest number of industries, we also factored in the need not to totally grind down the operations of the industries, in order not to jeopardize the ability of the economy to rebound after the pandemic.

“This second phase has two major elements of further relaxation of the restrictions and expansion in the number of days. In contrast to the current three days of Monday, Wednesday and Friday, this new phase opens up all the five working days in the week i.e Monday to Friday, with only Saturday and Sunday as lockdown days. In addition, there will be no time restriction from Monday to Friday, with the exception of the curfew period from 8.00 pm or as may be directed by the President.”

He advised the people of the state to continue adhering to the guidelines of preventing the spread of the virus saying, ” let no one make a mistake COVID- 19 is neither over nor the curve of the spread flattened.

From all available data and simulations, we are yet to reach our peak, consequently the further easing of the lockdown is not a license to believe the worst is over.”

The governor added that restriction on interstate order still effective.

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