The head of Nigeria’s presidential task force to tackle COVID-19 said on Monday that the county will impose precision lockdown measures in areas that are witnessing a rapid increase in the number of new coronaviruses but it will slow the phased reopening of the economy, reported Reuters.
“Nigeria is not yet ready for full opening of the economy and tough decisions have to be taken for the good of the greater majority,” said Boss Mustapha, the chairman of Nigeria’s presidential task force for COVID-19. “Any relaxation will only portend grave danger for our populace.”
The total number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria stood at 5,959 and 182 deaths as of Monday, according to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control. A total of 1,594 cases had recovered.
As a precautionary measure, the Nigerian government has extended a full lockdown in the northern economic hub of Kano state, which has the second highest number of confirmed cases in the country with 825 confirmed cases and 36 fatalities and where authorities are investigating a spate of mysterious deaths.
While Nigeria had previously planned to completely ease coronavirus lockdowns in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states over a six-week period from May 4, the government has now confirmed that the phased reopening of strict lockdowns in those states would also go more slowly than initially planned, and the current phase of the gradual reopening would last a further two weeks.
The government has also imposed a nationwide night-time curfew from 8.00pm to 6.00 pm, as well as ordered individuals to weak face masks in public and banned travel between states.
Mustapha said the country would take necessary steps to enforce the measures. He complained that non-compliance was rampant with social distancing measures.
“The fight against COVID-19 is long-term as the virus is not likely to go away very soon,” he said.