Residents urge Lagos government to enforce COVID-19 protocols in public transport

Some residents of Lagos have appealed to the state government to enforce the use of face masks in its transport facilities to avert a spike in the cases of COVID-19.

In separate interviews on Thursday, the residents said that effective enforcement of COVID-19 safety protocols by the government would enhance compliance by the citizens.

Mrs Nusirat Ojikutu, a trader at Oke Arin Market, said that reports of a second wave of COVID-19 infection in some countries were a signal to the government to strengthen its COVID-19 response strategy.

“There’s a protocol that everyone in public places should wear face masks, but most people don’t comply with this directive.

“I usually go through the waterways from Ikorodu to Lagos Island, and before anyone can enter the ferry terminal to board a boat, the use of face mask and sanitising the hand is compulsory.

“For weeks, we don’t bother to follow the safety measure, and there are no checks to ensure that passengers comply.

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“Government should enforce the measures to ensure that people comply because we cannot afford another lockdown if there’s a second wave of COVID-19,” Ojikutu said.

Also, Mr Nelson Adetunji, an accountant, appealed to the government to ensure there was no overcrowding in the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plying various routes.

“Already, we have some people that believe that COVID-19 is a myth or ‘glorified malaria’.

“If safety protocols like physical distancing that will reduce overcrowding and use of face masks are not followed in government buses, the citizens might find it difficult to believe the existence of COVID-19.

“I don’t see the reason why the buses should overload considering that they just increased the fares across all their routes. Let’s put the health and safety of commuters before profit,” he said.

Commenting, Mrs Fisayo Adebayo, a banker, appealed to the government to reintroduce the dispensing of hand sanitizers on passenger’s hands before entering the buses.

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Adebayo noted that a spike in COVID-19 cases would have more negative impact on people’s mental health, lives, finances. She called for proactive measures from the government and citizens.

Mrs Nkechi Israel, a lawyer, appealed to the government to ensure that its words were consistent with its actions.

“A situation where the government spends millions on sensitisation of the citizens about COVID-19 in communities, and most facilities of government in the same community lacks water, soap or hand sanitizer for workers and visitors, how will the citizens take the government serious.

“Nowadays, most people hang their face masks around their neck which is not supposed to be, and those that should know better will argue with you that COVID-19 is no longer in Nigeria.

“We need serious reorientation and personal responsibility to protect ourselves and loved ones from COVID-19, because the fact is that we still have daily COVID-19 infections and people still die from its complications,” Israel said.

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Commenting, Dr Tunji Akintade, Medical Director, Hamaab Medical Centre, said that safety measures should be intensified across the country, especially as the dry and harmattan season approaches.

According to him, most people have cough and cold during these seasons due to the weather condition, stressing that enforcing safety measures would assist to reduce the spread among citizens.

Akintade advised the citizens not to wait for the government to compel them before prioritising their health and wellbeing, adding that intake of fruits, vegetables, multivitamins and adequate rest would assist to boost their immunity.