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Lagos asks 70% of civil servants to stay at home over coronavirus

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The Lagos state government has directed civil servants from grade level one to 12 to stay at home for the next fourteen days.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state governor, announced this in a public address on Sunday.

He said the stay-at-home order would last for an initial period of 14 days.

“In addition to previous measures, I hereby direct that all public officers in the entire unified public service from grade level one to 12 which constitutes about 70% of our entire workforce should stay at home from Monday, March 23, 2020, for fourteen days at the first instance,” he told the press on Sunday.

“We’ll review this as time goes on. Members of the public are advised to refrain from visiting any of our physical offices and to transact such businesses as is possible on the phone or online channels.”

According to the governor, the stay-at-home order does not affect first responders whom he listed to include medical personnel, fire service officers, personnel of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and Lagos Waste Management Authority.

Sanwo-Olu said other patients have been evacuated from the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba.

He also said facilities are also being set up at the Gbagada General Hospital and five other locations around the state where confirmed cases can be treated.

The state has confirmed 19 cases of the coronavirus.

In total, 30 cases have been confirmed across the country.

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Lagos Matters

Violators of coronavirus lockdown face jail term as Lagos assembly passes new law

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The Lagos state house of assembly on Thursday passed into law an emergency bill to help the state combat coronavirus.

Of the 51 confirmed cases of the virus in Nigeria, the state has the highest number, 32.

On Thursday, the state lawmakers passed the “Emergency Coronavirus Pandemic Bill 2020” personally sponsored by Mudashiru Obasa, the speaker, into law.

It affords Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor, the legislative concurrence to spend an initial N20 billion to effectively contain the virus and enforce compliance by Lagosians.

The bill was presented on the floor of the chamber by Noheem Adams, deputy majority leader, after which it scaled the first and second readings and was passed to the committee on health for further deliberation.

The bill was later laid before the house by Hakeem Sokunle, chairman of the committee on health, after which it scaled the third reading.

The bill gives the governor the opportunity to make recourse back to the house before any regulations.

The bill also stipulates a fine of N100,000 for defaulters, one month imprisonment in the correctional centre or three months community service.

Where the offence is not spelt out, it attracts N200,000 and also allows the leadership of the various arms of government to structure their own restriction format.

Section 8 of the bill makes provision for the coronavirus Trust Fund.

The bill further empowers the governor to declare a state of emergency of up to three months if the situation requires so.

Speaking on the bill, Adedamola Kasunmu (Ikeja constituency 2), said it was important to alleviate the impact of the virus on the economy of Lagos, especially since the bill would enable the executive to expend necessary funds to contain the virus by providing adequate facilities in the state owned hospitals.

On his part, Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa 2), said: “We urge Lagosians to bear with us. Pandemics are not new but the way government and people react to it matters 150 states in the world.

“Lagos recorded the first case,so they should look at the possibility to broaden it to capture much more.”

Contributing, Obasa said the contingency plan in the budget cannot sort out the current issue.

“Government needs be seen doing something, making effective pronouncements. The governor can make recourse back to the House if need be. If the budget procedure takes much time that can’t suffice, the kick off fund will help,” he said.

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Lagos Matters

Lassa fever death toll rises to 176 — amid battle against coronavirus

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Nigeria has recorded three more deaths from the Lassa fever outbreak, raising the total death in 2020 to 176.

The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) disclosed this on Thursday in its latest situation report.

It said 28 new cases were also recorded, shooting the total number of those infected up to 932 across at least 27 states.

The NCDC  added that the states with highest new confirmed cases are Edo (eight) and Ondo (five).

Lassa fever is transmitted to humans via contact with food or household items contaminated with rodent urine or faeces. Its symptoms include high fever, soar throat, nausea, fever and general weakness.

The disease has been endemic in Nigeria, as there is often an outbreak every year. This time, Nigeria is battling it alongside a new disease: the coronavirus.

As of Wednesday night, 51 persons have been infected with the virus, which has led to the death of one person and grounded economic activities across the country.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in December, half a million people have been infected globally while at least 23,500 have died from the disease.

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Lagos Matters

Lagos Assembly Reinstates Suspended Lawmakers

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Lagos State House of Assembly has lifted the suspension placed on four of its members.

The Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa announced the move at the start of plenary on Thursday.

Speaker Obasa said that the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress called a meeting on Tuesday to intervene in the crisis and directed that the House should reinstate the suspended lawmakers.

The affected lawmakers are Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh, who was the Deputy Majority Leader, Hon. Rotimi Abiru, who was the Chief Whip, Hon. Moshood Oshun and Hon. Raheem Adewale.

Their indefinite suspension was announced at the plenary on Monday, 9th of March and the affected lawmakers and their aides were later denied access to the legislative complex.

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