Coronavirus continues to threaten lives in Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has announced a 14-day extension to a lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The lockdown in the 3 cities was initially meant to last for 14 days, until 13th April. Addressing the nation, Mr Buhari said it was “necessary to extend the current restriction of movement in Lagos and Ogun States as well as the FCT for another 14 days effective from 11:59 pm on Monday, 13th of April, 2020.”
Mr Buhari said the leaders of Nigeria were fully aware of the hardship such a measure was causing to their livelihoods, adding that such sacrifices were needed to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the country and to save lives.
He thanked the media houses, celebrities and other public figures for their great work in sensitizing the citizens on hygienic practices, social distancing and issues associated with social gatherings.
“To date, we have identified 92% of all identified contacts while doubling the number of testing laboratories in the country and raising our testing capacity to 1,500 tests per day. We also trained over 7,000 Healthcare workers on infection prevention and control while deploying NCDC teams to 19 states of the federation. Lagos and Abuja today have the capacity to admit some 1,000 patients each across several treatment centres,” Mr Buhari said.
The president recognised the “incredible work” being done by Nigerian healthcare workers and volunteers across the country especially in frontline areas of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory. “You are our heroes and as a nation, we will forever remain grateful for your sacrifice during this very difficult time. More measures to motivate our health care workers are being introduced which we will announce in the coming weeks,” he said.
While claiming that Nigeria was on the right track to win the fight against COVID-19, Mr Buhari said he was concerned about the increase in number of confirmed cases and deaths being reported across the world and in Nigeria specifically.
“On 30th March 2020, when we started our lockdown in conforming with medical and scientific advice, the total number of confirmed cases across the world was over 780,000. Yesterday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases globally was over one million, eight hundred and fifty thousand. This figure is more than double in two weeks In the last fourteen days alone, over 70,000 people have died due to this disease.”
He confirmed that Nigeria so far has 323 confirmed cases in 20 States. The virus has killed ten people in Nigeria.
Mr Buhari appealed to Nigerians to “continue to take responsibility for the recommended measures to prevent transmission, including maintaining physical distancing, good personal hygiene and staying at home.”