•Approves phased/gradual easing of restriction on FCT, Lagos and Ogun
•Places a 2 week total lockdown on Kano
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday evening placed a ban on inter-state passenger travels, except those on essential travels, as a measure to check the rising case of the COVID-19 in the country.
In his address to the nation, the President disclosed that government would “strictly ensure the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene”.
“There will be a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travels until further notice.
“There will be partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services from producers to consumers”, he stated.
President Muhammadu Buhari also approved “a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and the Ogun States effective from Monday, 4th May 2020 at 9 am”.
The President also reiterated that “the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos & Ogun States shall remain in place” until the new ones come into effect on Monday, 4th May 2020 at 9 am.
According to him the measures “will be followed strictly with aggressive reinforcement of testing and contact tracing measures while allowing the restoration of some economic and business activities in certain sectors”.
The President said the initial measures taken to control the disease were successful since the present cases in the country had not reached the projected figure.
“Initial models predicted that Nigeria will record an estimated two thousand confirmed cases in the first month after the index case.
“This means that despite the drastic increase in the number of confirmed cases recorded in the past two weeks, the measures we have put in place thus far have yielded positive outcomes against the projections.
“The proportion of cases imported from other countries has reduced to only 19% of new cases, showing that our border closures yielded positive results”, he revealed.
The President also mentioned some achievement made in the fight.
“Today, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has accredited 15 laboratories across the country with an aggregate capacity to undertake 2,500 tests per day across the country.
“Based on your feedback, Lagos the State Government and the FCT with support from NCDC has established several sample collection centres in Lagos and the FCT. They are also reviewing their laboratory testing strategy to further increase the number of tests they can perform including the accreditation of selected private laboratories that meet the accreditation criteria.
“Several new fully equipped treatment and isolation centres have been operationalised across the country thereby increasing bed capacity to about three thousand”, he added.
Buhari also expressed his concern over Kano and took special measures in that respect.
“With regards to Kano, I have directed the enforcement of a total lockdown for two weeks effective immediately. The Federal Government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the State in controlling and containing the pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighbouring States”.
President Buhari also “directed the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions to make further plans and provisions for financial stimulus packages for small and medium scale enterprises. We recognise the critical role that they play in Nigeria’s economy”.
Meanwhile, highlights of the new nationwide measures are as follows;
“Selected businesses and offices can open from 9 am to 6 pm;
There will be an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am. This means all movements will be prohibited during this period except essential services”.