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Apathy reigns as Lagos ministries, agencies flout COVID-19 safety protocols

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Lagos State Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are routinely not complying with the COVID-19 safety protocols put out by the government to break the chain of transmission of the virus.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the Federal and state governments had made it mandatory for managers of public and corporate buildings to provide hand-washing facilities, besides ensuring anyone going into such facilities to put on their facemasks, wash their hands or apply alcoholic-based sanitisers to clean their hands. In fact, the Lagos State Safety Commission had sealed some buildings for not complying with this protocol.

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The Guardian took a tour of some buildings within the state secretariat in Alausa where none of the buildings housing the MDAs fully complied with the COVID-19 safety protocol, including that housing the Lagos State Safety Commission that has been enforcing regulation, compliance and punishing those who did not abide by the guidelines.

The Guardian visited 14 buildings within the state secretariat in Alausa. The experience varied from not having running water or soap to not enforcing the use of facemasks by visitors.

Surprisingly, the building housing the Lagos State Safety Commission was the most defiant. There is a sink for washing hand but the tap is faulty; water is not running and no soap was provided to wash hands. Also, visitors were not compelled to wash their hands, neither were they provided hand sanitisers.

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At the Ministry of Special Duties building, there was a handwashing facility, but no soap to wash hands. The officers at the reception of the building did not provide hand sanitisers and never bothered if visitors used facemasks or washed their hands before they were allowed in. It was the same scenario at the Head of Service Building, where the disinfectant tunnel has become faulty, just as the buildings housing the ministries of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Environment, Transport, Technology and Tourism.

At the Ministry of Education building, there was a handwashing facility, but no soap for washing. Just like the disinfectant tunnel at the Head of Service building, the disinfectant tunnel at the Ministry of Education has become a carcass and empty shelf. But the officer at the reception demanded that the facemask be put on properly before gaining entry into the building.

For the buildings housing the Ministries of Finance; Works, Budget and Planning; and Commerce and Industries, there were hand washing facilities, the water was running and there were soaps, but the use of facemask to gain entry or washing of hands before entry was not enforced. This was despite the visitors were not offered hand sanitisSomeer to clean their hands before gaining entry.

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