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None of COVID-19 patients in Lagos is likely to die, says government

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Akin Abayomi


• Denies knowledge of Abba Kyari’s whereabouts in Lagos
• Affirms authenticity of SMS on stimulus package for aged
• ‘418 pensioners paid N1.8 billion bond arrears’
• LIRS extends deadline for filing annual returns by two months

The Lagos State government has said that all the 73 Coronavirus patients remaining under its care are not going to die, as they are experiencing mild and moderate symptoms of the virus.He said that out of the 81 cases in Lagos, eight of them had been discharged.

The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said this while providing update on management of the disease in Lagos. He said the state government would next week discharge more patients under its care after they must have had two consecutive negative tests. Abayomi said though he has had interaction with the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, he does not know his whereabouts in Lagos.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government yesterday confirmed that SMS messages received by residents who are 60 years old and above emanated from the Lagos State Residents’ Registration Agency (LASRRA), saying that the aged and vulnerable residents will benefit from the stimulus food package unveiled by the state government on Friday, March 27, 2020.

The state’s Commissioner for Agriculture, Gbolahan Lawal, who made the clarification in Lagos yesterday, said that an SMS from LASRRA was sent to the aged asking them to reply with a “YES”, “FOOD YES” or “SWITCH YES” if their registered home address with the agency remains valid.

Lawal noted that the Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with LASRRA, devised the initiative to ensure fairness and evenness in the distribution of the stimulus packages.

He, therefore, urged recipients of the SMS to respond promptly before noon on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, disclosing that responses will be collated and beneficiaries will start to receive stimulus food packages from the state government.

Also, the Lagos State Government has taken a further step to ensure that the aged and retirees do not suffer undue hardship during the restriction order, as it ensured seamless payment of N1.8 billion bond arrears to 418 pensioners on Friday, March 27, 2020.

A statement by the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle, stated that the gesture was one of the many put in place by the government to ensure that elderly citizens are not affected by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ponnle, who reiterated that LASPEC offices remain available and advised pensioners with any inquiries to contact the official telephone numbers – +2348023065860; +2348023064050, implored pensioners to stay indoors, stay safe and observe the widely publicised social distancing methods, affirming that Lagos State will continue to care for them.

However, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has extended the deadline for filing of annual returns for individual tax-payers, including self-employed persons, for two months from April 1 to May 31, 2020.

In a statement by Chairman of LIRS, Mr. Ayodele Subair, the extension of deadline of the annual returns is in response to appeals made by tax-payers as well as a policy shift by the agency to assuage the effect of COVID-19 on the tax-payers and residents of Lagos State.

The statement said: “We implore the tax-payers to access our e-Tax platform for all tax operations and administration matters, including filing of annual returns from the comfort of their homes and offices. They can do this by simply logging on to the e-Tax platform via https://etax.lirs.net or calling our Customer Care Centre on 0700 CALL LIRS (070022555477).”


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