Rising COVID-19 Infections: Nigeria to lockdown 18 local governments

Cyril Okonkwo, Abuja

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Chairman of Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Mr. Boss Mustapa

Nigeria will lockdown 18 of its 774 local governments that accounts for 60% of the country’s 24,077 COVID-19 infections in the next phase of its response to the pandemic.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, stated this on Monday while speaking with State House correspondents after the task force briefed President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said that the 18 councils were of high burden and would be put on “precision lockdown” with states and local government taking responsibility for them.

“60% of 24,077 infections; 18 local governments account for that, spread all over the nation. 

“So, the stage that we might be getting into like we recommended in first ease of lockdown, is to begin to look at the issue of precision lockdown, where you don’t have to lockdown the entire state, but you can see the hotspots where there are clusters of transmissions going on, which have been established by volumes of samples that come from the states and those that have been tested.

“The reason for the precision lockdown is to put in those places specific measures to be administered by the state governments and local authorities.

“It is not for the federal government; it is for the state governments and the local authorities to put in place measures which might be similar to the first response we had of the total lockdown of those communities.

“They will now aggressively collect samples, test those who are found infected before the transmission continue in that community and taken into isolation.”

Mustapha said that the over 10,000 Primary Healthcare Centres spread across Nigeria were being brought in to deal with community infections.

He said that the number of local governments with high burden of infections came down from 21 last month to 18 at present.

Nnenna.O

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