Nigeria: Covid-19: Lagos Announces Beginning of 4th Wave

7 December 2021

The governor, who stated this in a statement he personally signed on Tuesday, blamed the development on the non-adherence to preventive measures by Nigerians.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has alerted Nigerians of an impending fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic, saying the positivity rate has indicated that Nigeria may soon be faced with a surge in infections.

The governor, who stated this in a statement he personally signed on Tuesday, blamed the development on the non-adherence to preventive measures by Nigerians.

According to the governor, as of December 5, the state had recorded a total of 78,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with a total of, 71,977 certified to have recovered in community while 612 are still being managed actively in community.

He said; "... most of the continents of the world - including Africa - are now experiencing a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, Lagos State is not left out as we are also experiencing the beginnings of a fourth wave with the current positivity rate at 6 per cent."

The governor said the new positivity rate is against the rates of 0.1 per cent as of the middle of November 2021.

Mitigation strategies

The governor said the state would do everything within its capacities to ensure the protection of Lagos residents. He said the percentage of the vaccinated residents of the state would be increased from the current 1.6 per cent to 30 per cent.

Mr Sanwo-Olu said; "I have specifically mandated the Lagos State Ministry of Health to administer eight million doses to four million residents by the 25th of December 2021 under the Count Me In campaign. We have deployed a robust strategy that involves the private sector to improve access to vaccines.

"We are launching 30 private priority sites for those who want to be vaccinated within a private health facility. While vaccination at public centres remains free, there is an administration fee (N4,500 per dose and N6,000 for two doses) at private centres. To register for the vaccination, please visit the registration portal"

The governor added that over the next couple of days, the state will release policies to facilitate the uptake of vaccines to achieve desirable herd immunity.

Guidelines for social gatherings

Ahead of the Yuletide, the governor has said all social events must be duly registered to obtain what he tagged; "Event Safety Clearance" from the state's safety commission.

Meanwhile, the governor has said attendees of public functions in the state must present their vaccination cards or digital bar code page showing, at least, first dose but preferably double dose full vaccination.

The guidelines also added that 'occupancy limit' at any event must not exceed 60 per cent of maximum design capacity of the event centres, and that in the case of unvaccinated people willing to attend events, "a negative PCR within 72 hours will be an exemption."

"Everybody, irrespective of vaccination status, MUST be subject to Rapid Diagnostic test (Antigen) to be conducted AT THE EVENT VENUE OR within 24hrs prior to the event at designated laboratories. (Request for rapid tests at the venue requires an application through the Safety Commission)," the governor said.

For under 18 guests

Guests of public events in the state who are under 18, according to the governor, are expected to wear nose masks or face shields before entering the event centres, noting that "guests and service providers with high temperature (above 37.5) are to be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team on ground."

The governor also advised service providers at event centres to provide hand sanitisers to be positioned at the entry points and different spots within the venues.

Travel protocols

The governor said the state would ensure enforcement of the new travel protocols put in place by the Nigerian government, adding that the prosecution of flouters of the rules will be taken serious.

"Based on this, we will commence the prosecution of those that refuse to submit themselves for these mandatory tests by blacklisting their passports for 1 year.

"This would be carried out in partnership with the Presidential Steering Committee. In addition, all foreigners that flout the rules would be subject to possible deportation. Therefore, I implore all intending inbound passengers to perform their required tests at any of the private laboratories within the Lagos State Private Laboratory Consortium as and when due," the governor said.

The governor also warned those engaging in the procurement of fake vaccination cards. He said those caught would be tried at the state's mobile courts.

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