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COVID-19: Buhari Approves 2 Weeks Extension of Gradual Relaxation Of Lockdown

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

…Total Lockdown Remains in Kano

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Federal Government (FG) has extended the phased and gradual relaxation of the lockdown announced two weeks ago to containing further spread of Coronavirus by another fortnight.

FG, in the latest development, also extended the ongoing total stay at home order in Kano for another two weeks.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha announced this Monday at the daily briefing of the task force in Abuja.

The SGF said the measure takes effect from midnight, Monday, April 18, 2020, including ban on all inter-state movements.

Mr. Mustapha said in spite of the little success being recorded so far in fight against COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria was not yet ready for full opening of the economy.

He noted that tough decisions have to be taken for the good of the greater majority.

SGF at the briefing warned: “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 reopening in the coming weeks.”

He restated that for the avoidance of doubt, “Mr President has approved the following:

(i) The measures, exemptions, advisories, and scope of entities allowed to reopen under phase one of the eased locked down, shall be maintained across the Federation for another two weeks effective from 12 00 midnight today (18th May, 2020 to 1st June, 2020);

“(ii) Intensifying efforts to ‘tell (communicate), trace (identify) and treat (manage)’ cases;

“(iii) Elevating the level of community ownership of non-pharmaceutical interventions;

“(iv) Maintain the existing lockdown order in Kano for an additional two weeks;

“(v) Imposition of precision lockdown in states, or in metropolitan/high-burden LGAs, that are reporting a rapidly increasing number of cases, when the need arises. This would be complemented with the provision of palliatives and continued re-evaluation of the impact of the interventions; and

“(vi) Aggressive scale-up of efforts to ensure that communities are informed, engaged and participating in the response with enhanced public awareness in high-risk states.”

It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday, April 27, announced a “phased and gradual easing” of the lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states.

In addition, he announced a nationwide curfew with effect from May 4 from 6am – 8pm.

The President according to the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task force on COVID-19 Aliyu Sani has hinted Sunday, is expected to address the nation later today (Monday).

However, another Presidential aide – Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adeshina, countered Monday afternoon, confirming that his principal would no more talk to Nigerians, instead, the PTF on COVID-19 in its daily briefing would do, hence, Mr. Mustapha’s address.


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