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Vaccination: Lagos rolls out new stringent covid-19 guidelines for Yuletide, to prosecute violators

Anthony Iwuoma
The Lagos State government, yesterday, released fresh strict vaccination guidelines for social activities and public gatherings in the state during the Yuletide.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, disclosed that all social events must be duly registered to obtain Event Safety Clearance from the Lagos State Safety Commission website.

“Where possible events should be held in an outdoor space. Occupancy limit at any event must not exceed 60 per cent of the maximum design capacity of the Commission. Every attendee of a social gathering must present his/her vaccination card or digital bar code page, showing at least first dose but preferably double dose full vaccination,” the governor said.

“In unvaccinated people, a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test 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 24 hours, prior to the event. Request for rapid tests at the venue requires an application through the safety commission.

“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 the ground. All guests and service providers at the event must wear a nose mask or face shield before entry. All guests and service providers must endeavour to wash their hands before entering the venue or use hand sanitisers after which temperature checks should be carried out. Hand sanitisers to be positioned at the entry point and different spots within the venue.”

The governor frowned at reports on  “very disturbing information about intending outbound passengers procuring fake COVID-19 test results and/or vaccination cards for travel purposes,” adding that the state is “currently working with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Police Force to investigate and bring to book the criminal gangs involved in this reprehensible activity”.

Sanwo-olu warned that “anyone found with a fake COVID-19 test result and/or vaccination card will be liable to prosecution and very stiff penalties” and urged residents not to patronise the culprits.

According to him: “State Mobile Courts will be used to prosecute all those involved in flouting regulations, as well as those engaged in the fraudulent production of fake test results and vaccination certificates. To this end, the Lagos State Ministry of Health is collaborating with various enforcement stakeholders from the Ministry of Justice and the Task Force to ensure prompt prosecution of these individuals.”

Speaking further, the governor also disclosed: “I have specifically mandated the Lagos State Ministry of Health to administer eight million doses to four million residents by December 25, 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 of N4,500 per dose and N6,000 for two doses at private centres.”

In a previous report, The Nigerian Xpress reported that Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said stricter measures will be announced to stop the operations of commercial motorcyclists known as Okada riders in the state.

Sanwo-Olu, who spoke at security stakeholders meeting in Ikeja, said Okada riders pose a threat to security in Lagos State – the same reason the government barred Okada operation in six local government areas in February 2020.

“No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality,” Sanwo-Olu said.