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Sanwo-Olu expresses concern over rising COVID-19 cases

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UNILAG professor, deputy governor’s brother, veteran Yoruba actress die-off symptoms

Rattled by the rate of community spread of COVID-19 among citizens, Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday expressed concern over rising cases of confirmed persons in the state.

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In a note he posted on his social media handles, he wrote: “Lagos, there is an urgent need for us to be more circumspect in the way we live, interact and socialise with our friends and family.

“Many people are ignoring COVID-19 warnings and guidelines, thereby exposing themselves and others to the virus. We are well into the second wave of the pandemic. Yesterday (Tuesday), Lagos scarily recorded its highest number of infections in one day – 712. We have already recorded a frightening spike in infection cases. This spike brings positive cases to a total of 32,720 in Lagos alone.

“This second wave comes with severe symptoms, and the higher number of positive cases we detect, the higher number of casualties we are bound to record. We do not want this, but for this to be avoided, we must be intentional and cautious.

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“We also do not want to go into another lockdown. It is important that you wear your masks, avoid crowded areas, wash or sanitise your hands regularly, and practice social distancing. We simply cannot afford to be complacent at this time.”

This warning note came just as the Deputy Governor of the state, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, lost his brother, Haroun, on Tuesday. Haroun, a medical doctor aged 37, reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 before his death, according to his colleagues.

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State chapter confirmed Haroun’s death in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday.

The statement titled: ‘NMA Lagos mourns’, read in part; “It is a dark moment in the Nigerian Medical Association, Lagos State, as we announce with deep regret the death of our very young colleague, Dr Haroun Hamzat. It is ‘sunset at dawn’ as he was just 37 years old.

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“He worked as a medical officer at one of the PHCs under Orile-Agege LCDA until his demise. We commiserate with his immediate family, friends, associates, colleagues, and staff of Lagos State PHC Board and indeed the medical fraternity of Lagos State. We pray against such premature deaths in our fold.”

Also yesterday, the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Akoka, lost another prominent professor, Duro Ajeyalemi, to the pandemic. Ajeyalemi, a professor of education, is the third prominent indigene of Ijesha land in Osun East Senatorial District that had died of the deadly disease lately. The late professors Femi Odekunle and Oye Ibidapo-Obe had earlier died recently.

Ajeyalemi, who retired at the age of 70 from the university in November 2020, was a former dean of the institution’s Faculty of Education and the pioneer Registrar of the Joint Universities Preliminary Examination Board (JUPEB).

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Confirming the development, the university’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of Development Services, Folasade Ogunsola, said the institution’s management was “again shocked to receive the news of the death of another great scholar.

“It is true Prof. Ajeyalemi is dead. We are still in shock. Nigerians should know that COVID-19 is real and they should please use masks appropriately,” she said.

It was gathered that the late don died at the isolation centre of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba.

According to a source, both Ajeyalemi and Ibidapo-Obe attended the same wedding party at Ikoyi, where the latter was chairman of the wedding. “Apparently, the two contacted the virus at the party, dying three days apart from the illness. I learned there are two other professors who were at the party that are currently on ICU.”

Just as Lagos residents were adjusting to the shock, another news broke yesterday of a veteran Yoruba actress, Folake Aremu, popularly known as Orisabunmi, who died on suspected COVID-19. She was aged 60.

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The Kwara-born thespian’s death came only months after the death of her ex-husband, Jimoh Aliu, popularly known as Aworo, who died on September 17, 2020. They were married for 36 years.

President of the Theatre Arts And Motion Pictures Practitioners Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN), Bolaji Amusan, aka Mr. Latin, confirmed she died on Tuesday night.

A friend to the deceased disclosed that she was to attend Kola Olootu’s party last Sunday with Fokoko and Aderupoko, “but when Aderupoko called her to get ready, she said she couldn’t go because she is having some cough, which is making her uncomfortable and giving her chest pain. According to her, she didn’t want to be coughing in a gathering like that. By Monday morning, she ended up in the hospital and they said she required oxygen. She was placed on an oxygen mask until she gave up on Tuesday night. COVID-19 is real. ”

She was hale and hearty until this week. She attended several functions during the Christmas period.”

Orisabunmi was famous for playing the role of a priestess with magical powers expressed in incantations and some other mysterious manifestations and these have endeared her to many viewers for many years.

The late actress achieved fame in the 80s when she starred in the TV series Arelu, alongside her ex-husband and the likes of Fadeyi Oloro. This was shortly after she was discovered by her ex-husband in the 80s while working as a teacher in Kwara State.

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