“You can hold or attend funeral ceremonies in Lagos State” – Sanwo-Olu gives 2 weeks ultimatum for Lagosians to bury their dead

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has issued an ultimatum for Lagosians to bury their dead.

Sanwo-Olu noted that mortuaries in the state are getting filled up and urged Lagosians to pick up their corpses in state-owned morgues and bury them according to newly outlined social distancing rules in Lagos State.

Sanwo-Olu said this while briefing reporters on the steps that the state is taking to minimize the effects of COVID-19 in the state, saying that the owners of these corpses have two weeks to bury them or risk them being subjected to a mass burial.

The Governor was emphatic while stating that these deaths are not due to the novel Coronavirus but are instead people who died during the Lenten period but could not be buried as a result of the emergence of Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown.

He said: “You can hold or attend funeral ceremonies in Lagos State as long as you comply with the requirements that we have outlined, as follows: The total number of persons at the funeral, including officiating religious leaders, must not exceed 20; Physical distancing must be maintained at the funeral ceremony; All attendees/mourners must use masks and ensure they wash their hands after the ceremony.

“There must be no receptions or parties to accompany these funerals; rest assured that as long as these directives are fully complied with, funerals will be allowed and encouraged to take place.

“If we are unable to see a decongestion of the mortuaries across the State in the next two weeks, the Lagos State Government will be compelled to carry out mass burials to achieve this. We do not want to be forced to do this, which is why we are asking for your cooperation in this regard.”

The Governor also revealed that, as part of the state’s efforts to fight COVID-19, he has ordered the release of 209 inmates across several correctional centres. This was done in order to decongest these centres and minimize the spread of the virus within the establishment.

Those above 60 years of age, less than 6 months to go on their sentence, have served 75 per cent of their sentence, those serving time for misdemeanours and minor offences, and those with physical and mental health issues all benefited from the early release.

The Governor also reiterated that facemasks have become compulsory within the state as anyone caught without a facemask will be sanctioned and penalized.

Sanwo-Olu spoke on the high rate of cases in Lagos State, stating that the 76% increase in new cases shows that the strategies that the government has put in place (increased testing) are working and urged Lagosians to stay indoors.

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