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Coronavirus: Nigeria's Lagos orders 70% of workforce to stay home

Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial hub has asked a category of civil servants to stay at home for the next 14 days effective Monday, March 23, 2020. The move is connected to the coronavirus pandemic which has forced most states in the country to close schools.

The announcement was made by governor Jide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday. According to him, about 70% of the Lagos workforce will be directly affected. He also tasked members of the public to stay away from government offices and use phone and internet channels as best as possible.

“This stay-at-home does not affect all of our first responders, meaning the medical personnel are still meant to be at their duty posts, our fire service, members of the Lagos state emergency management authority… and other essential services.”

Already schools across the state – be they private or public – had been closed late last week as a prevention and containment measure.

Lagos, one of Africa’s most populous and busiest commercial centers has been at the heart of Nigeria’s COVID-19 statistics. The index patient, an Italian who has since been discharged came through the Lagos airport.

The federal government announced the closure of the airport and the one in the capital Abuja as of March 23. Lagos today recorded three more coronavirus cases bringing Nigeria’s tally to 30 out of which two have been discharged and 28 undergoing treatment.

Police cautioned against unnecessary arrests

In other coronavirus related news from the West African country, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu has issued directives warning against unnecessary arrests and detention of suspects amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“The IGP, while urging officers to observe personal safety measures, further directs the Zonal AIGs and Command CPs to ensure that cases of unnecessary arrests and detention of suspects are not condoned.

“He reiterates that detention of suspects must be reduced to the barest minimum and that only very serious cases such as terrorism, armed robbery, homicide and other non-bailable offences should warrant detention.

“The IGP further directs that adequate measures be emplaced to screen persons to be committed into police custody. The IGP enjoins citizens to avoid social visits to police stations and other police offices and minimize official visits, except where absolutely necessary,” an official statement read.

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