The Federal Government has extended the gradual easing of the lockdown for another 2 weeks, which will be implemented in areas recording high rates of coronavirus infections in the country.
The chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, made this announcement during a media briefing in Abuja on Monday, May 18, 2020.
According to him, it was one of the president’s new directives aimed towards containing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
Mustapha said Nigeria is not yet ready for full opening of the economy and that the lockdown will be implemented in states, or in metropolitan and high-burden local government areas that are reporting a rapidly increasing number of cases, when the need arises.
“The reality is that in spite of the modest progress made, Nigeria is not yet ready for full opening of the economy and tough decisions have to be taken for the good of the greater majority. Any relaxation will only portend grave danger for our populace.?
Advisedly, the current phase of eased restriction will be maintained for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued.
The two weeks extension of phase one of the eased restriction is also to enable other segments of the economy to prepare adequately for compliance with the guidelines preparatory to opening in the coming weeks.
For the presidential task force, we share your pains but our future is in the hands of every Nigerians and future decisions will depend greatly on our compliance.
Based on the recommendations of the Presidential task force, Mr President has approved the following:
- The measures, exemptions, advisories as scopes of entities allowed to open under phase one of the ease lockdown shall be maintained across the Federation for another two weeks effective from Today 18th May until the 1st of June 2020.
- Intensify efforts to tame, communicate, trace, identify and manage cases.
- Elevating the level of community ownership of non-pharmaceutical interventions.
- Maintain the existing lockdown in Kano for another two weeks.
- Imposition of precision lockdown in states or metropolitan and high burdened local governments that are reporting a rapidly increasing number of cases when the need arises. This will be complimented with the provisions of palliatives and continued re-evaluation of the impact of the interventions. and
- Aggressive scale-up of efforts to ensure that communities are informed, engaged, and participating in the response with enhanced public awareness in high risk areas.”
The total number of COVID-19 cases in the country currently stands at 6,175, and 191 deaths as of Monday, according to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control. A total of 1,644 cases had recovered.