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The world is in the grip of a global health crisis as the World Health Organisation has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic because of its rapid spread and high mortality rate. Africa has not been spared, with Lagos State, which is the hub of economic activities in Nigeria, having the highest confirmed cases in the country. Although measures have been introduced to combat the spread of COVID-19, the pandemic is likely to have significant and diverse impacts on the means of livelihood of the people, most notably, those in the informal sector. It is against this backdrop that this study adopted a qualitative research method to examine how government response to COVID-19 can impact the survival of the urban poor in Lagos State. Primary and secondary data were collected from articles, government publications, internet sources, and key informant interviews. Participants were selected through random sampling and data collected was analysed using content analysis. The study finds that imposed lockdown and other government interventions have negative impacts on poor urban communities, such as loss of livelihoods and successive hunger. The study concluded that the government’s effort and policy response are not conducive for the survival of poor urban citizens. The research recommends prioritising the essential needs of the urban poor by recognising vulnerabilities and facilitating fair access to livelihoods and palliatives. Otherwise, the poor will continue to make the containment of the virus a difficult task.