Lagos doctors call off strike after police promise

Celestina Olulode

BBC News

A stethoscope with the Nigerian flag
Getty Images
Health professionals are exempt from an overnight curfew

Doctors in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, have called off their strike after assurances from police that they will not be harassed during the coronavirus curfew.

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) had ordered their members to stay at home on Tuesday after several cases of harassment, including one in which the police stopped an ambulance that was carrying a patient and detained the health team.

In April Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari announced that all key workers including health professionals would be exempt from an overnight curfew.

The NMA, which says police have often ignored this, has now ordered medics in Lagos to return to work from 18:00 local time on Thursday.

In a statement, it said Lagos Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu’s intervention had helped resolve the matter.

Lagos lockdown could be reinstated

The governor of Nigeria's largest city, Lagos, has warned that coronavirus lockdown measures could be reinstated if its citizens continue to flout social-distancing rules.

On Monday, Nigeria decided to ease restrictions, following a five-week lockdown in Lagos and the country's capital, Abuja.

But Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu wrote on Twitter that it was disappointing to see crowds of people at banks and markets across Lagos state ignoring the ban on public gatherings.

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Nigeria has confirmed almost 4,000 infections and 117 deaths from Covid-19.

Lagos has been particularly hard hit and the daily increase in recorded cases has doubled in the past few days.

Covid-19: 10 aides of Lagos governor test positive

About 10 staff members working at the Lagos State House, the official residence of the governor, have tested positive for coronavirus.

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his wife have however not been diagnosed with the virus after three consecutive tests, according to the state's health commissioner Akin Abayomi.

The aides are receiving treatment in isolation centres, Prof Abayomi tweeted, adding that all staff members at the governor's residence had been tested.

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My mum's last words to me were 'look after your sister'

Thomas Mackintosh

BBC London News

Rachel, Esther and Samuel Akinsanya

Among those to have become infected with coronavirus were two sisters, Esther Akinsanya and Mary Idowu.

On 11 April - and just hours apart - they were taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, where they had both worked at for decades after showing symptoms.

Ms Akinsanya, who was born in Lagos in Nigeria but moved to the UK in the early 1990s, worked as a healthcare assistant, along with Mary.

Her son Samuel Akinsanya explained that despite his mother having no clear underlying health problems she succumbed to the virus and died suddenly.

"Even in her last words to me she was telling me to look out for my sister," he said. "She knew something was going on and that's what breaks my heart.

"That will always stick with me, but what has struck me since is just how well connected my mum was and how well respected she was.

"So, I need to be strong and continue her legacy."

"Her mind was colossal, but what baffled me was seeing how she deteriorated so quickly.

"I've heard a lot about ethnic minorities being affected but it should not matter what skin colour or nationality people are.

"This virus is killing people and we need to look after our NHS and can't take it for granted."

Esther Akinsanya and Mary Idowu
Esther Akinsanya and Mary Idowu
Coronavirus in Nigeria: Activist Oluwaseun Osowobi on recovering from Covid-19
Nigerian activist Oluwaseun Osowobi discusses her journey of recovery after catching Covid-19.

Lagos starts house-to-house coronavirus survey

Lagos state's health commissioner for has warned residents to be ready to answer questions from health workers who are going house-to-house asking about coronavirus symptoms.

The health workers will "make inquiries about symptoms of cough, cold and fever", Prof Akin Abayomi is quoted as saying in a tweet by Lagos state government.

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Coronavirus infects the lungs. The two main symptoms are a fever and a dry continuous cough, which can sometimes lead to breathing problems.

Prof Abayomi is quoted as saying the survey "is in a bid to intensify our search for possible cases of Covid-19".

The survey is meant as a way of scouting for potential cases of coronavirus who will be prioritised for testing, explains the BBC's senior Africa correspondent Anne Soy.

A similar survey was carried out in Cameroon’s biggest city Douala. There they identified 2,313 people to be tested out of 198,640 who were screened, the health minister Manaouda Malachie said in a tweet.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says that laboratories in the country have a capacity to process 1,500 tests a day whereas the city of Lagos has at least 14 million residents.

Nigeria has so far confirmed seven deaths and 288 cases of coronavirus, 158 of which are in Lagos state.

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Coronavirus in Lagos: Enforcing lockdown in Africa's biggest city
We follow the Lagos task force in charge of enforcing a new ban on large public gatherings.

Lagos to close markets and shops for seven days

Chris Ewokor

BBC News, Abuja

A commuter wearing a mask in Lagos, Nigeria
The governor also said travel to and from Lagos by air and by road should also be avoided

The governor of Lagos state, the economic hub of Nigeria, has announced that all open markets and shops, except for sellers of food, medicines and life-saving equipment, must close for seven days from Thursday.

This is part of measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Africa’s most-populous nation, which has 44 confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu also called for magistrate and high courts to close immediately.

Travel to and from Lagos by air and by road should also be avoided and gatherings should not exceed 25 people, he advised.

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