Lagos state government has announced new transportation guidelines ahead of May 4 when the lockdown due to coronavirus will be eased in the state.
As the partial ease of the lockdown by the Federal Government in Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja commence on Monday, May 4th, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, said the new guidelines were proactive measures put in place by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to curtail a possible spread of the deadly virus among the commuting public through transportation activities when gradual ease of the lockdown commences.
Oladeinde explained that effective from Monday, 4th of May, all commercial and commuter operations within Lagos shall be between the hours of 6 am and 7 pm daily, asserting that it is mandatory for all commuters to wear nose covers, wash their hands with soap under running water and, thereafter, use alcohol-based sanitizers before and after each trip.
Announcing the immediate suspension of all inter-State operations and movements, the Commissioner mentioned that the decision was taken to effectively manage and control movement within the metropolis while measuring the level of success achieved with various strategies adopted by the State Government to control further spread of COVID-19.
He affirmed that the use of motorcycles, popularly called Okada, for commercial activities would not support the physical distancing rule as directed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), pointing out, therefore, that Okada operations are disallowed in any part of Lagos State at this period.
While warning public transport operators against any activity capable of undermining government efforts at eradicating the COVID-19 pandemic, Oladeinde disclosed that all transport operators and companies must compulsorily and regularly disinfect their vehicles, parks and garages while they are expected to collaborate with the State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources on the standard of disinfectants approved by the State Government for use.
The new transportation guidelines released are part of the continuous effort to curb the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in Lagos State. The government warns operators of various mechanic workshops to prevent security breaches in their environment, ensure that all abandoned vehicles within their premises are evacuated within the next one week and keep their surroundings clean.
The government warned that it would, through its Committee on the abandoned vehicles, enter any workshop that fails to comply and tow the vehicles away.
He also warned all commercial passenger vehicles not to exceed 60 per cent of their capacity at this crucial time, while physical distancing rule must be obeyed both at the parks and in the buses, maintaining that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Lagos Bus Services Ltd (LBSL) must not convey more than 21 passengers, must not permit standing in their buses and should keep the air-conditioning systems switched off always.
“In the same vein, yellow buses, popularly called ‘Danfo’, must not carry more than eight passengers (two on a row), tricycles are to carry just two passengers at the back, while private car owners must also observe the physical distancing,” Oladeinde stated.
Speaking on the activities of transporters involved in the disposal of medical wastes used at COVID-19 isolation centers, the Commissioner insisted that waste handlers must always wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), dispose non-reusable ones and wash reusable ones immediately after each use.
In his remarks, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Toyin Fayinka, stated that enforcement of the new transportation guidelines will commence on Monday, 4th of May, 2020, urging motorists to obey the guidelines to avoid encounters with the Special Task Force made up of the Police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS), as well as Abandoned Vehicles and Parks Monitoring Committees.