The lockdown imposed on Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states as part of the measures adopted by the Federal Government to contain the spread of the Coronavirus in the country has been extended by one week.

President Muhammadu Buhari announced the extension in a national broadcast on Monday night, adding that he has also approved a phased and gradual easing of the lockdown from May 4.

“Based on the above and in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the various Federal Government committees that have reviewed socio-economic matters and the Nigeria Governors Forum, I have approved a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States effective from Monday, 4th May, 2020.

“However, this will be followed strictly with aggressive reinforcement of testing and contact tracing measures while allowing the restoration of some economic and business activities in certain sectors,” Buhari said.

New Measures Announced

Announcing new nationwide measures including dusk-to-dawn curfew and mandatory use of face masks in public from May 4, Buhari said, “There will be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am.

“This means all movements will be prohibited during this period except for essential services.”

The President also imposed a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travel until further notice.

However, he said that partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services would be allowed for the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers.

“We will strictly ensure the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene. Furthermore, the restrictions on social and religious gatherings shall remain in place.”

He urged state governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.

While stating that the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States would remain in place until these new ones come into effect on Monday May 4, Buhari said the Presidential Task Force would provide sector specific details to allow for preparations by governments, businesses and institutions.

He however said state governors may choose to adapt and expand the guidelines, based on their unique circumstances provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines issued above.

Total lockdown in Kano for Two Weeks

The President also ordered the enforcement of a total lockdown in Kano State for a period of two weeks effective immediately. He said the purpose of the lockdown was to curtail the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic to other neighbouring states.

“The federal government shall deploy all necessary human, material and technical resources to support the state in controlling and containing the coronavirus pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighbouring states.”

Peace Obi

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