COVID-19: President Buhari orders lockdown of Lagos, Ogun and FCT

Nnenna Okoronkwo, Abuja

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In a bid to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus also known as COVID-19, the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the total lockdown of Lagos State, Ogun State and the Federal Capital Territory.

The President, who gave the order in a nationwide broadcast on Sunday evening, stated that the lockdown would take effect from 11pm on the 30th of March 2020.

“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,” he stated.

President Buhari noted that 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”.

He said his administration would use the 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” he vowed.

While explaining further, the Nigerian leader added that the order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organisations in health care related manufacturing and distribution.

“Furthermore, commercial establishments such as; food processing, distribution and retail companies; petroleum distribution and retail entities, power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and private security companies are also exempted” he clarified.

He added that although the above mentioned establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored.

 “Workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted”.

The Nigerian President also stated that seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines he issued earlier.” Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these Ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority”.

“Furthermore, all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas”.