COVID-19: Lagos Intensifies Monitoring of Social Gatherings

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.. Receives 70 calls on social functions in 24hours

…Closes six hotels, event centres
Chiemelie Ezeobi

As Nigeria records more cases of COVID-19, the Lagos State government yesterday intensified monitoring and enforcement of “no gathering” policy.

This is just as it charged Lagosians to join hands with the government to minimise the spread of the pandemic.

This was just as the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, (LASEPA) said it received over 70 calls from Lagosians, who reported their neighbours that organised ceremonies with nearly 200 participants.

Some of the functions were naming ceremonies and other forms of gatherings.

Disturbed by the growing statistics of COVID-19, Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu had ordered residents to restrict all gatherings to 20 people just as the religious houses were discouraged from congregational prayers.

Speaking during the enforcement of the governor’s directives, the General Manager, LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe said the agency would not rest on its oars until people voluntarily comply with the new directives.

Fasawe said: “The directive was meant to ensure the safety of everyone. You can postpone your birthday, wedding or whatever ceremony, only the living celebrate these ceremonies.

“That’s why we all must comply with this. We shouldn’t because of any gains endanger the lives of others by organising parties at this time.”

Fasawe attributed frequent calls by residents to alert the agency on illegal gatherings for the successes recorded during the enforcement where six event centres , hotels and clubs were sealed.

This is a reflection of oneness and collective responsibility as a stakeholder in the affairs of the state.

According to her some of the event centres and club earlier sealed were Regency hall, Imperial hall, Matinos hall and suites, Famcity club, Lekki Xhale , Shisha Lounge, Victoria Island.

The fun-seekers were dislodged while the venues were sealed for flouting the order aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

To the club owners, Fasawe urged them to stop harbouring people in unsecured and unventilated areas.

She said: “We received cases of some schools encouraging their students to come to school in mufti to enable them complete their exams. This is unacceptable and no hidden place for violators of government directives.”

Fasawe urged lagosians to always share information with the government if they suspect any social gathering in their domains.

“If you see something, say something because that party in your neighbourhood could endanger your lives if you keep quiet, since you would not know who has the virus among the multitude of people in the party,” she added.

She also urged all public and private institutions to install hand washing infrastructure as well as provide sanitisers at their facility entrances and ensure usage by the staff and visitors.