BY LEVI JOHNSON
Bothered by the wave of different strains of COVID-19 variants blowing across the world, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Sunday hinted that the third wave of COVID-19 is imminent.
He stated this while giving an update on the COVID-19 situation in the state, adding that Nigeria stands the risk of losing both lives and livelihood on a devastating scale.
His words: “From the end of March 2021, the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Lagos began to wind down, and we began to enjoy some reprieve from the worst effects of the virus. This enabled us to further open up the economy to allow the start of the journey towards full normalcy in our lives and the pursuit of livelihoods, after what has been a very difficult year.
“From the beginning of July, we started to experience a steep increase in the number of daily confirmed cases, with the test positivity rate going from 1.1 per cent at the end of June 2021 to its current rate of 6.6 per cent as of July 8, 2021. The rapid increase within a week gives great cause for concern.
“Also, within the last two weeks, the occupancy rate at our isolation centres increased from an average of 1 per cent to 6 per cent. This is the new and disturbing reality that now confronts us.
“It is only by testing and sequencing comprehensively that we can collect the data required for informed decision-making.”
“Going forward, passengers that do not provide the right details, including a phone number that cannot be reached for monitoring and an address for isolation, will face serious sanctions including fines and imprisonment according to our Lagos State Coronavirus Law of 2021.
“As dictated by the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), passengers from red-listed countries (India, South Africa, Brazil and Turkey) are required to observe mandatory isolation. So far, we have successfully isolated 2,386 passengers in Lagos State. Of this number, 15 per cent have absconded.
Ahead of the Sallah celebration, Sanwo-Olu said: “Greater vigilance is required at this time in our Churches and Mosques and other places of religious worship. We must not allow ourselves to be carried away by the illusion that all is now back to normal. This is especially critical, as Sallah approaches, in a little over a week from now.
“The festivities will no doubt bring people together in large numbers and create conditions that can sadly cause the spread of the Coronavirus. We must not allow this to happen.
“We are mandating full compliance with all protective protocols. Compulsory use of masks in all public places, social distancing, temperature checks, Provisions for hand-washing and sanitisers, and a maximum of 50 per cent occupancy in enclosed spaces.”