Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, has directed residents who have the corpses of their loved ones in public mortuaries across the state claim them for burial in the next two weeks.
Speaking at a press briefing on Saturday, Governor Sanwo-Olu noted that public mortuaries in the state had become filled up and threatened that all unclaimed corpses would be given a mass burial by the state if their relatives do not pick them up.
According to the governor, the corpses are not that of persons who died of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). He explained that the corpses are a backlog which has not been buried due to the recently concluded Christian season of Lent, as well as the lockdown order.
He noted that funeral was not on the list of activities exempted from the lockdown restrictions and asked all concerned to pick up their loved ones’ corpses for immediate burial.
He, however, insisted that all safety and health protocols issued with regards to COVID-19 must be strictly followed, stating that all persons present at a burial must not exceed 20 and that no form of reception or party must be held after interment.
“I’m constrained to make this appeal to all Lagosians who have the corpses of their loved ones in the mortuaries to please go ahead and schedule the funerals.
“Due to the inability to hold funerals, occasioned by the restriction 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.
“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 burial 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,” Governor Sanwo-Olu said.
As of Saturday, out of the 1,182 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, Lagos has 689, out of which 116 had recovered and 20 had died.