Lagos State government, yesterday, issued guidelines for social events and gatherings within the state during the festive season. Making the disclosure in a statement, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said all social events must be duly registered to obtain Event Safety Clearance from the Lagos State Safety Commission website.

He explained: “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.

“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 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 endeavor to wash their hands before entering the venue or use hand sanitisers after which temperature checks should be carried out. Hand sanitizers to be positioned at the entry point and different spots within the venue.”

Sanwo-Olu said the state has begun moves to prosecute persons engaged in fraudulent production of fake COVID-19 test results and vaccination certificates. He disclosed that the government received “very disturbing information about intending outbound passengers procuring fake COVID-19 test results and/or vaccination cards for travel purposes”.

Describing the development as “very worrisome”, he said 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”.

He implored residents to desist from patronising the culprits, warning: “Anyone found with a fake COVID-19 test result and/or vaccination card will be liable to prosecution and very stiff penalties.” He said: “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.”

On plan to mitigate the fourth wave of the pandemic, Sanwo-Olu said the state would increase the percentage of vaccinated residents from 1.6 per cent to 30 per cent within one year. “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,” the governor said. Sanwo-Olu also commiserated with Lagos residents who lost loved ones during the third wave of the pandemic. He regretted that the fourth wave was brought by non-adherence to lay down protocols and appealed to everyone to get vaccinated.

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