Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi revealed on Monday that more than sixty workers on the Lagos-Ibadan rail project have contracted the Coronavirus.
However, Amaechi expressed relief that despite the high number of infections for workers on the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, no death has been recorded yet.
“Over 60 of the people working on the Lagos-Ibadan rail project have been infected by Covid-19. However thanks to God, no death has been recorded. I pray that nobody will die. Hope you can see the kind of sacrifice everybody is making to get the rail to function.
“As far as we are concerned, we need to learn how to live with COVID-19. I really want to congratulate those that achieved this feat. We were to inaugurate the Lagos-Ibadan train in the first week of January. We had to stop doing minor completion because of the rise in COVID-19 transmission.
“The timeline for the inauguration is dependent on COVID-19. If it stops today, we will need additional two weeks. It may not even need to stop completely. If it reduces drastically, we will be happy to go ahead and commission. This was our expectation but unfortunately, it shot up. So, everybody has to wait and watch what is going on and make sure we keep safe and stay alive.”
The minister also read the riot act to those flouting safety measures put in place to checkmate the spread of the virus, adding that the ministry would not hesitate to stop the movement of passenger trains on any route found to be culpable.
“If the Lagos-Ibadan passengers flout the Covid-19 protocols, we will stop the train services on such route. Don’t forget that we convey about 4,000 passengers in a day on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line. Now, imagine that about 20 persons have coronavirus. They can transmit the same to the entire 4,000 passengers. If we take 2,000 to Abuja and 2,000 to Kaduna, the rate of transmission will be very high. We can’t continue that way. The same is applicable to Lagos. For us, we insist that everybody must obey the protocols. Wear your mask throughout the journey till you step down,” the minister warned.