By Olasunkanmi Akoni
GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, yesterday, expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance to safety guidelines against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state, saying the state was considering full re-opening of critical sectors of its economy but was not in a hurry to do so.
The governor said in the coming days, the state government would be rolling out the Register-to-Open initiative as part of plans that would enable it assess the level of readiness of players in the identified sectors for supervised operations. He said: “We are at a level where we are reviewing the other arms of the economy. In the coming days, we will be starting what we call Register-to-Open, which means all players in the restaurant business, event centres, entertainment, malls and cinemas will go through a form of re-registration and space management. “There is a regulation that will be introduced to supervise this move.
We will be coming to their facilities to assess their level of readiness for a future opening. I don’t know when that opening will happen in the weeks ahead, but we want these businesses to begin to tune themselves to the reality of COVID-19 with respect to how their work spaces need to look like.
“For us, it is not to say they should re-open fully tomorrow (Monday) or any time; there has be a process guiding the re-opening. We will be mandating LASEPA and safety commission to begin the enumeration process and the agencies will be communicating with all relevant businesses and houses in the days ahead. I must, however, caution that this should not be misinterpreted as a licence for full opening; it is certainly not. The state’s economy is not ready for that now.”
The governor disclosed that all the 10 staff of Government House, who tested positive to the virus, had fully recovered and returned to their beats. Also, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, disclosed that the state would commence the clinical trial treatment of COVID-19 this week using chloroquine as approved by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC. Omotoso said: “We are ready for the chloroquine clinical trial because we have just secured all the approvals.
The documentation has also been completed. Those that will be used for the trials are ready too. By next week we should be ready for the trial. “Also, Lagos got a supply of additional 20,000 testing kits, although we were expecting 40,000. It means that the testing will increase now.”