SANWO-OLU TO LAGOSIANS: PICK YOUR DECEASED CORPSES FOR BURIAL
Lagos State Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday said the state’s mortuaries are getting filled and congested, urging owners of corpses in the state morgues to pick them for burial in line with the protocol established in the management of COVID-19 in the country.
The governor who is the Chief Incident commander of COVID-19 pandemic in the state revealed this while giving the eighth update in the series on the management of the novel coronavirus in the state, saying owners of the corpses have two weeks to claim them or risk mass burial by the government.
Sanwo-Olu stated emphatically that the corpses were not those killed by COVID-19, maintaining that corpses of those that died during Lenten period left unburied as a result of Christian faith coupled with the current lockdown resulted in the congestion at the state mortuaries.
The governor added that inter-state movements for burials will not be tolerated, saying the state borders had been toughened to restrict those not providing essential services from entering the state.
Sanwo-Olu said, “Still on this matter of essential movement, I would like to speak concerning funerals. One of the outcomes of this lockdown is that many families and households have had to postpone funeral plans for loved ones who have passed away before or during this period.
“As you might know, many Christian denominations do not carry out funerals during the Lenten Season. Funerals are typically kept on hold during this period, and scheduled for the period immediately following the end of Lent.
“Unfortunately, this year, the Covid-19 Lockdown coincided with the end of Lent, which caused many families and households to further suspend or put off funeral plans.
“Because of this inability to hold funerals, occasioned by the restrictions on movement, the mortuaries in Lagos State are now full and in urgent need of decongestion. Let me make it clear at this point that these are not Covid-19 deaths.
“The mortuaries in Lagos are not full because of Covid-19 deaths – the total number of Covid-19 deaths in Lagos as at today is 20; the only reason the mortuaries are full at this time is because funerals are not being held, and have not been held for most of the last two months.’’
He appealed to all Lagosians who have the corpses of their loved ones in the mortuaries, to please go ahead and schedule these funerals, saying funerals are on the list of activities exempted from the lockdown restrictions.
“You can hold or attend funeral ceremonies in Lagos State as long as you comply with the requirements that we have outlined, as follows: The total number of persons at the funeral, including officiating religious leaders, must not exceed 20; Physical distancing must be maintained at the funeral ceremony; All attendees/mourners must use masks and ensure they wash their hands after the ceremony.
“There must be no receptions or parties to accompany these funerals; rest assured that as long as these directives are fully complied with, funerals will be allowed and encouraged to take place.
“If we are unable to see a decongestion of the mortuaries across the State in the next two weeks, the Lagos State Government will be compelled to carry out mass burials to achieve this. We do not want to be forced to do this, which is why we are asking for your cooperation in this regard.’’