Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has ordered the shutdown of all markets and stores trading in non-essential commodities for seven days.

The governor gave the directive at a press conference on the COVID-19 situation in the state on Tuesday.

The governor also reduced the number of people that must participate in a public gathering at any given time from 50 to 25.

In a televised briefing after State Security Council meeting held at the State House in Marina, Sawno-Olu said the restrictive measures were necessary, given the rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lagos.

The governor however said that the new directive did not affect pharmaceutical shops and all markets where food stuffs are traded.

Sanwo-Olu said: “Today, we are taking further measures and giving new directives and guidelines to stop the spread of coronavirus in our state. All open markets and stores are directed to close for seven days, except for sellers of food and medicines, medical equipment and other essential life-saving products. For those that fall into the aforementioned categories, it is imperative that they observe necessary precautionary measures of social distancing.

“The Chief Judge of Lagos has been directed to ensure that all Magistrate and High Courts in the State close immediately to the public and suspend all court sittings. As may be possible, all essential services should be transacted electronically.

“Also, all public parks, including those in private and residential estates, swimming pools, gyms, beauty salons, and all such public places are expected to shut down at this time, until further notice.”

Banks and other financial institutions, Sanwo-Olu advised, must prioritise online channels for their services to the public, saying only essential and key senior staff should be allowed to work in the office during restriction period.