Coronavirus: Lagosians Defy Government Attend Wedding

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Cartago Coronavirus: Lagosians Defy Government Attend Wedding

Hundreds of party goers in Lagos attended several wedding events that held across Lagos on Saturday — defying government ban on large gatherings to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.

A wedding programme held at an event centre in Ajao Estate and another in Alausa, two downtown Lagos neighbourhoods, on Saturday afternoon, according to people who attended.

The programmes held despite Lagos imposing lock-down measures on March 19 as it scrambles to contain its rising number of COVID-19 infections.

Lagos recorded the first case of COVID-19, a respiratory disease spawned by coronavirus, in Nigeria on February 27.

The commercial city has continued to report additional cases since then, with federal health authorities putting the state’s case at 16 out of the total 22 cases confirmed in the country as of Saturday afternoon.

As the growing number of COVID-19 infections across the country continued to stoke confusion amongst its nearly 200 million population, with limited treatment tools available, federal and state officials announced drastic restrictions aimed at containing the spread.

After the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other renowned health institutions and experts identified social distancing as one of the pragmatic approaches to slow down the spread of the virus, Nigerian authorities urged citizens to observe the recommendation and restrict themselves to only essential movements.

Lagos State was one of the earliest states to announce the closure of schools and prohibition of large gathering of more than 50 people.

The state also asked club owners and event centre operators to shut down business for at least one month in the first instance. Health officials racing to contain the virus would use the period to appraise their efforts.

But some of those who attended a wedding on Saturday said the advisory, while crucial and understandable, should be imposed gradually to enable them adjust to it.

See Also: COVID-19: Lagos State To Teach Eight Subjects Via Television And Radio

“We know the virus is real and the population must be protected from contracting it, but that should not mean an emergency break should be applied to everything about our life,” Tolulope Odunlami, who attended a friend’s wedding in Ikeja, told PREMIUM TIMES.

Ms Odunlami said her friend had been planning the event since September 2019 and it would be traumatic for anyone to force her to cancel it in a two days’ notice.

“A lot of money has been sunk into this, it was unimaginable for us to even cancel it,” she added.

Lanre Adegunwa, whose stepbrother married in Ajao Estate, said the event held despite awareness of organisers of the prevailing restrictions.

“We have read in the news that weddings and other social activities have been banned and we also discussed it within the family,” Mr Adegunwa said. “But we concluded it was in our best interest to proceed with the wedding and face the consequences afterwards.”

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