COVID-19: Nigeria takes steps to contain, curtail spread

Timothy Choji, Abuja

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President Muhhammadu Buhari says government will do all within its powers to contain coronavirus and its spread in all parts of the country.

He made the pledge on Sunday in a nationwide broadcast to citizens of the country.

He said: My fellow Nigerians, as a Government, we will avail all necessary resources to support the response and recovery. We remain committed to do whatever it takes to confront COVID-19 in our country.

We are very grateful to see the emerging support of the private sector and individuals to the response as well as our development partners.  

At this point, I will ask that all contributions and donations be coordinated and centralized to ensure efficient and impactful spending. The Presidential Task Force remains the central coordinating body on the COVID-19 response.

I want to assure you all that Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies with a role to play in the outbreak response are working hard to bring this virus under control.

Every nation in the world is challenged at this time. But we have seen countries where citizens have come together to reduce the spread of the virus.

He has therefore, directed the lockdown of Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the Federal capital Territory Abuja, where the COVID-19 cases are more prevalent.

“The few confirmed cases outside Lagos and Abuja are linked to persons who have travelled from these centres. We are therefore working to ensure such interstate and intercity movements are restricted to prevent further spread.

“Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States.

“All citizens in these areas are to stay in their homes. Travel to or from other states should be postponed. All businesses and offices within these locations should be fully closed during this period.

“The Governors of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Minister of the FCT have been notified. Furthermore, heads of security and intelligence agencies have also been briefed.

“We will use this containment period to identify, trace and isolate all individuals that have come into contact with confirmed cases. We will ensure the treatment of confirmed cases while restricting further spread to other States.

The Nigerian leader thanked the country’s partners that have supported the fight against COVID-19

Nnenna.O