By Ezra Odogu
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has gotten a clean bill of health; he has been certified free of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Governor, on Thursday afternoon, cheerfully walked out after 14 days in self-isolation, expressing his gratitude to all citizens for their prayers and wishes throughout the period of his public absence.
Sanwo-Olu shared experience of his personal battle against the dreaded virus in a briefing held at the State House, Marina.
He said: “COVID-19 is real”, apparently cautioning those still in doubt of the outbreak of the pandemic.
The Governor, on December 11, went into self-isolation after an exposure to an infected aide. His test result came back positive, the day after.
Sanwo-Olu, however, said he was fortunate to have had a relatively moderate experience in the course of his infection, but added that he experienced most of the symptoms associated with COVID-19, including cough, fatigue and loss of smell.
The Governor expressed concern about the new surge in the rate of infection, disclosing that Lagos was now recording 18 per cent in positive results from daily testing. He appealed to the residents to join in the effort to tame the virus by strictly adhering to the public health guidelines issued by the State Government.
The Governor said the second wave of the virus spread was proving to be more ambitious and dangerous than the first period of outbreak, urging the people to protect themselves and loved ones from the harshness of the virus.
He said: “Fellow Lagosians, let me sound this note of warning again, as I have done from the onset of this pandemic, COVID-19 is real. It is here with us, and it is not a respecter of anyone, or of social class, religious belief, or partisan affiliation. Not only is the virus here with us, this second wave we are currently seeing is proving to be more ambitious than the first wave.
“We are seeing infection figures that are surpassing what we saw at the peak of the first wave, and, just like then, Lagos remains the epicentre. As a densely-populated city, and a centre of international trade and commerce, this is not surprising in any way. But, it is also the reason we need to exercise an abundance of caution in this period.”
The Governor stressed that the State Government was not resting on its oars to halt the second wave of the pandemic, disclosing that the State had started to raise the capacity of its isolation centres and General Hospitals by installing Oxygen Kiosks, which are needed for treatment of COVID-19 patients with compromised respiratory tracts.
Sanwo-Olu said six Oxygen Kiosks out of the ten proposed in the first phase would be unveiled next week.
The Governor restated that the emergency required to tame the second wave of the virus would not permit public gatherings and crowding, especially in Yuletide when religious centres would be holding services and vigils.
He directed worship to suspended all night services, including vigils and crossover events, noting that the Federal Government-imposed curfew between midnight and 4am would be enforced.
He said: “All over the world, Christmas period is associated with gathering, merriment and traveling, which all, sadly, contribute to the spread of the virus. We must now seek to minimise as much of these activities as we can, at this time. Let this Christmas be a period of sober reflection.
“The quicker we are able to tame this raging virus, through responsible behaviour, the higher the likelihood that we will enjoy a 2021 that is not as restrictive and challenging as 2020. By acting responsibly, we are not doing only ourselves a favour, we are doing other people a favour as well, especially those among us who are elderly or medically vulnerable.”
As part of the measures to curtail COVID-19 spread, Sanwo-Olu strongly advised residents to cancel all non-essential travels, regardless of destinations.
The Governor directed all in-bound international passengers arriving into the country through Lagos must subject themselves to COVID-19 test on seventh day of their arrival. All business and social establishments in Lagos, the Governor ordered, must strictly enforce “No Mask, No Entry” policy.
Sanwo-Olu said there was no justification for socialising in the period of public health crisis without exercising caution, warning those who are bent on flouting the State’s regulations that the Government would bring the weight of the laws on them.
The Governor thanked frontline workers and medical personnel who attended to him during his period of isolation, saying: “I received very dedicated and competent care from the Lagos State COVID-19 Treatment Team, and I am extremely proud of the work they do.”