Lagos, others risk virus escalation as bus drivers offer passengers used face masks

There are indications that Lagos and neighbouring states may witness an escalation of the dreaded coronavirus as commercial bus drivers now offer used face masks to passengers to beat security checks.

This was in a bid to scale through security check points on the use of face masks by passengers and drivers.

Surveillance by newsmen on inter and intrastate travel shows that ignorant passengers accept such offer and return same to the drivers after a check.

The driver collects same and hung it on the inner mirror of the bus for other passengers that defied the government order on the mandatory use of the face mask.

In another development, drivers with extras face masks in bus safe offer face masks to passengers for N100 to beat security checks on compliance.

However, a situation where a passenger is not able to meet the financial obligations, he or she is free to return the used mask to the drivers who also keeps it for other unsuspecting deviant passengers.

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A Combi bus driver, Kabiru Gbolahan that plies Berger-Sagamu express road absolved himself of any wrongdoing, saying his ignorant passengers should be blamed for negligence on the compulsory use of the face mask.

“Three days ago, I was fined and paid N10,000 because two of my passengers had no face mask while another just refused to wear it appropriately.

“To beat security checks, I have 2 face masks in the bus for ignorant passengers. I wash it in the night and hang it on the inner mirror for use the following day,” he said.

Recall that a virologist and Chairman, Expert Review Committee on COVID-19, Prof. Oyewale Tomori attributed the rise in the coronavirus cases and deaths in the country to what he described as a premature easing of lockdown measures by the federal and state governments.

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He said: “The premature easing of lockdown by our government may be taking us out of the enclosure of life to the freedom and freeway of COVID-19 death.

According to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Nigeria on Thursday, recorded 193 new cases of COVID-19 as the number of infected people exceeded 5,000.

NCDC said the total tally of infected people in the country rose to 5,162, from 4,971 reported on Tuesday evening.

The public health agency said the new cases were reported in 15 states. These are Lagos, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ogun, Plateau, Gombe, imo, Edo, Kwara, Borno, Bauchi, Nasarawa and Ondo states.

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