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Reasons Why President Buhari Extends Lockdown By Two Weeks

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Nigerian Federal Government, on Monday, stated that the recent order of President, Muhammadu Buhari, on the gradual ease of lockdown will remain for an additional two weeks.

This was disclosed by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mustapha, at the daily briefing of the task force in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Recall that the President, announced a phased and gradual easing of the lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states, on April 23, also declaring a nationwide curfew with effect from May 4. He also ordered a ban on all inter-state movements.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, mentioned that Nigeria was not yet ready for full opening of the economy, inspite of the modest progress made.

He said any relaxation will only portend grave danger for our populace. He also advised that the current phase of eased restriction, be maintained for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued.

He added that 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, as it prepares re-opening in the following weeks.

According to him, the 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.”

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