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Lockdown Continues Till Medical Advisers Say Otherwise-Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says the restrictions on movement in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun States will continue till the scientific advisers say otherwise.

President Buhari had on March 29 ordered a 14-day restriction of movement in Lagos, Ogun and FCT as part of measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus in the country.

Few days to the completion of the two-week lockdown, the President has urged Nigerians to continue to comply with the restriction directive till further notice.

Buhari, in a statement issued by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu said he has also directed the release of 70,000 tonnes of grain to vulnerable Nigerians.

The statement read: “But we must ask you – once more – to observe restrictions on movement where they are in place, and follow the instructions of our scientists and medical advisers: stay home, wash your hands, save lives. “The freedoms we ask you to willingly forsake today will only last as long as our scientific advisers declare they are necessary. But they are essential – world over – to halt and defeat the spread of this virus.

“For those who suffer most egregiously, the Government has announced multiple measures to assist: 70,000 tonnes of grain is being released from the National Strategic Grain Reserves for distribution to those in most need; distribution of small cash payments are also being made, and will continue to be made by the federal government in the states and local government areas.” The President urged members of the public to follow public announcements via the mass media for instructions as to how to receive government support, and learn of more public assistance in the coming days.

The statement added: “All that the government is asking you to endure is because nowhere in the world today is there any known way of defeating this pandemic. There is no vaccine. And that means there are choices to be made: between continuing as usual, or accepting the restrictions even when they come with unintended consequences. “But at this darkest hour, it remains our duty to offer you the full and unvarnished truth: This is a global pandemic — 210 countries and territories across the globe are affected. We cannot expect others to come to our assistance. No one is coming to defeat this virus for us. “Instead, the defeat of the virus in our country will be in our hands, alone. We cannot wait for others. We can only depend on ourselves now. And so we must — and we will — end this outbreak ourselves as Nigerians, together.”

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, had at briefing hinted that President may extend the 14-day lockdown imposed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The PTF, a small committee of us, this afternoon, had the privilege of further briefing Mr President on the assessment of our response to COVID-19 and, at the appropriate moment, we will continue to adequately inform Nigerians of government decisions.

“The decision on whether to extend the lockdown or not is exclusively the decision or responsibility of the President. Ours (the PTF) is to provide him with first-hand information that would inform that decision. So, I cannot speculate on that now. But looking at what is happening in other climes, you would be able to deduce what might likely happen, but I’m not in a position to speculate on that.”

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has recorded 318 cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria as at 11th of April, 2020.

So far, 10 deaths have been announced while 70 persons have recovered and discharged from the deadly virus.


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