Nigeria’s Buhari Government Imposes Two Week Lockdown In Lagos, Abuja, And Ogun

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s government on Monday placed on a two-week lockdown in three of the country’s major states in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, reported Reuters.

The lockdown in capital Abuja, Lagos, and Ogun came into force on Monday night at 11 pm local time (22:00 GMT). President Buhari made the lockdown announcement during his national broadcast.

Lagos, the epicentre of Nigeria’s coronavirus outbreak which has affected around 131 people, is home to at least 20 million people. Bringing the country’s financial capital to a standstill is expected to further deteriorate the country’s impending economic crisis.

“Some of these measures will surely cause major inconveniences to many citizens. But these are sacrifices we should all be willing and ready to make for the greater good of our country,” said Buhari.

Notably, hospitals and several other stores selling essential items such as groceries and medicine will be free from the restrictions announced for the lockdown period.

The Nigerian president said the government will use the shutdown period to identify, trace and isolate all the people who have come into contact with confirmed cases.

President Buhari also announced a series of measures aimed at relieving some of the economic pain including a three-month moratorium on government loan repayments.

“For the most vulnerable in our society, I have directed that the conditional cash transfers for the next two months be paid immediately. Our Internally displaced persons will also receive two months of food rations in the coming weeks,” he said.

The number of coronavirus cases in Nigeria is expected to rise as more testing is currently being carried out using kits donated by Chinese billionaire Jack Ma that arrived in the country last week.

Globally, the total number of coronavirus infections recorded since the beginning of the outbreak has crossed 775,000. Around 160,000 people have recovered from the deadly virus worldwide while nearly 37,000 have died.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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