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Edo orders shut down Lagos Street to all business activities

Edo State government has ordered the immediate shutdown of Lagos Street, an epicentre of trade and commerce in Benin City metropolis, to check the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

In a statement, special adviser to the governor on media and communication strategy, Crusoe Osagie, said the decision to shut down trading activities on Lagos Street, followed the refusal of residents to comply with the state government’s directives to participate in the ongoing screening and testing exercise for COVID-19, as part of efforts to contain the pandemic.

He said, “The Edo State Government has ordered the immediate shut down of all forms of activities including trading on Lagos Street, a business hub in Benin City, over the refusal of the residents to participate in ongoing screening and testing exercise to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Osagie said Lagos Street would remain closed to activities until residents in the area take part in the exercise to protect themselves and other members of the public, noting, “The participation of all residents in the exercise is important in curtailing the spread of the virus in the state.

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“Being a business hub, a large number of residents in Benin City and other parts of the state visit Lagos Street daily for various activities making the area a hotspot for the spread of COVID-19. This makes it important for residents and other persons in the area to participate in the exercise. Lagos Street will remain closed to all form of activities until the residents participate in the screening and testing exercise.”

Meanwhile, the state government has released guidelines regulating visits to orphanage homes in the state as part of strategies to check the spread of coronavirus.

Commissioner for social development and gender issues, Maria Edeko, disclosed this after a tour of orphanage homes in Benin City, the state capital.

The commissioner said the state government’s new guidelines for visitors to orphanage homes for charitable causes mandate that visitors must not be allowed to mingle with the children in the homes.

The commissioner revealed that an undocumented weeks-old baby was discovered during an unscheduled visit to Uyiosa Orphanage and Widows Ministry in Benin.

She said when her team got to Uyiosa Orphanage and Widows Ministry, they discovered that a baby in the custody of the centre was without documents notifying the government of the birth of the child.

Edeko added that the state government has taken custody of the baby while the proprietress will be made to explain how the baby got into her custody without the knowledge of the Ministry.

Noting that the directive on visits to homes will be strictly enforced, she said any centre not operating within the confines of the law will be shut down.

She said the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government is concerned about the welfare of children in orphanage homes, noting, “We will make sure we streamline the regulations guarding the operation of orphanages. Only those that are truly homes for the children will be left to operate. The ones that are not operating within the confines of the law will be shut down.”

She reassured that no child in Edo State will be allowed to be trafficked, abused, sold or used for hazardous jobs, according to the dictates of the state’s Child Right Laws and Labour laws.

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