Nigeria’s Lagos bans festivities, orders immediate closure of schools following rise in coronavirus cases

An empty road is pictured in the deserted central business district on the first day of a 14-day lockdown aimed at limiting the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lagos, Nigeria.

Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, ordered schools to shut indefinitely, banned concerts, carnivals and street parties and ordered certain civil servants to work from home amid a spike in new cases of COVID-19.

Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was isolating due to his own COVID-19 diagnosis last week, said in a statement that the tightened measures aimed to prevent another lockdown that the struggling state could ill afford.

“The complacency that crept in over the last few months … must now give way to an abundance of vigilance,” Sanwo-Olu.

On Thursday, the vice president of Africa’s most populous country expressed alarm at a nationwide resurgence of the virus and said health facilities “are fast becoming overwhelmed.”

Sanwo-Olu stopped short of barring in-person religious services, but said churches and mosques must follow rules that limit attendance to 50% of capacity and services to two hours.

Nigeria had 76,207 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,201 deaths as of Friday evening.

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