The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has dropped a hint on Saturday about the possibility of extending the lockdown in the state.
These hints came when he gave families whose corpse is in the morgue two weeks to pick up their corpse and bury.
He made it open while briefing newsmen at the state House on the update of the management of COVIID-19 pandemic in the state.
The governor noted that the mortuaries are being filled up and congested because of the lockdown, so this is the reason why people should pick their corpse within two weeks.
Sanwo-Olu also made it clear that inter-state movements for any burial will not be permitted.
“Still on this matter of essential movement, I would like to speak concerning funerals.
“One of the outcomes of this lockdown is that many families and households have had to postpone funeral plans for loved ones who have passed away before or during this period.
“As you might know, many Christian denominations do not carry out funerals during the Lenten Season.
“Funerals are typically kept on hold during this period and scheduled for the period immediately following the end of Lent.
“Unfortunately, this year, the COVID-19 lockdown coincided with the end of Lent, which caused many families and households to further suspend or put off funeral plans,” he said.
“Let me make it clear at this point that these are not COVID-19 deaths.
“The mortuaries in Lagos are not full because of COVID-19 deaths.
“The total number of COVID-19 deaths in Lagos as at today is 20; the only reason the mortuaries are full at this time is because funerals are not being held and have not been held for most of the last two months,” he said.
“You can hold or attend funeral ceremonies in Lagos State as long as you comply with the requirements that we have outlined.
“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,” he said.
The governor also announced that the use of face masks was now compulsory in public places in Lagos State and failure to use masks in public would attract sanctions.
“As at midnight yesterday, April 24, 2020, Lagos State had a total of 670 confirmed cases of COVID-19, an increase of 291 cases since the last time I addressed you, on Monday April 20, 2020.
“What this means is that we have seen a 76 per cent increase in our number of confirmed cases within four days, an average of 70 cases daily.
“These numbers demonstrate that we are now firmly in the community transmission phase of this pandemic in Lagos.
“It shows that our strategy of ramping up testing, especially within local communities is working, and that this is not the time for us to relax or to slow down in the efforts we are making to break the chain of transmission,” he said.
Additional reports from NAN.