They deserved to sit in the midst of their family members and feast in this festive period, but the current national healthcare emergency occasion led by the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has robbed these frontline medical workers in Lagos State of the Easter celebration.
However, in a show of gratitude to the medical personnel, who are attending to various health emergencies in Lagos, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu went on live video on Instagram to mark the Easter holiday with the medical workers at the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH) in Yaba and the Onikan Isolation Centre, Lagos Island.
In the live video streamed at the isolation facilities, the Governor appeared with a gospel artiste, Abolaji Banjoko, popularly known Beejay Sax, sending greetings and lifting the spirit of the medical personnel with songs of praise, even as they attended to medical emergencies.
As the music played on, the health workers and volunteers excitedly trooped out of the isolation wards, dancing towards the gospel band positioned at a safe distance in the facilities.
The health workers joined the Governor and the saxophonist to pray for divine strength to raise the capacity of the State Government in putting the ravaging pandemic under control.
Patients in the isolation facilities were not left out of the excitement; some of them in the advanced stage of treatment danced to the tunes in their wards. Others stayed by the windows and waved intermittently to acknowledge the gospel artiste’s musical ministration.
Mrs Bimpe Arowolo, a volunteer nurse, who could not hide her excitement, described the gesture as “motivating”. She thanked Governor Sanwo-Olu for sharing the Easter moments with them, noting that the gesture lightened the mood of the workers and patients in the gloomy period.
She said: “This is the least thing everyone of us expected here today. The atmosphere in this environment has been devoid of any form of cheerfulness, because of the nature of the pandemic we are dealing with. We are all taken by surprise when the band started setting up its equipment. We didn’t know what they were up to until they started singing.
“This has lightened up our spirits and it will motivate us to give our best to this important assignment, which requires everyone joining hands with the Government of Lagos State to stop coronavirus in the State. Thank you Governor Sanwo-Olu for keeping our spirits up in this rather gloomy Easter period.”
The Governor said the gesture was informed by the need to personally demonstrate his gratitude to the health workers and to boost their morale, describing all the frontline health workers engaged by the State Government in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as “heroes”.
Sanwo-Olu said: “Today being Easter, I take a moment to identify with all our health workers; the heroes who deny themselves of personal wellbeing and comfort to attend to emergencies we are grappling with at this period. I left every other thing I am doing and thought it necessary to share this moment with those who endure great pain and discomfort to save all of us from the agony of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.”