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COVID-19: FG to ease lockdowns in FCT, Lagos and Ogun over six-week period

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Senator Iroegbu with Agency report

Federal Government will ease coronavirus lockdowns in three states over a six-week period from May 4, the head of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha said on Wednesday.

Mustapha disclosed that the easing of restrictions in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states will be split into two-week phases.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) was providing details after President Muhammadu Buhari announced on Monday that there would be a “phased and gradual” easing of the lockdowns.

The number of coronavirus cases has, however, continued to rise with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Tuesday, reporting 195 new cases of the novel coronavirus, nearly double the previous daily high. There are now 1,532 confirmed cases and 44 deaths.

“The easing of restrictions and introduction of revised measures do not amount to the end of this battle against COVID-19,” Mustapha said, referring to the respiratory disease that the coronavirus can cause.

“Indeed, it signifies the need for more vigilance and stringent compliance so that we are not lulled into complacence capable of diminishing the progress we have made so far,” he added.

Also speaking, the National Coordinator of PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said that people may move around for work, buying food, exercise and healthcare. Aliyu also stated that banks will be allowed to open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and gatherings of up to 20 people are allowed.

He however, stressed that schools will remain closed, passenger flights will remain banned, restaurants will operate only on a takeaway basis, and all cultural events are cancelled.

He also emphasized that public places will need to require temperature checks, and businesses can reopen only if they fumigate and decontaminate their offices, enable social distancing and offer hand sanitizer and hand washing.

On Monday, Buhari also announced an overnight curfew, mandatory face masks in public and a ban on non-essential interstate travel. 

Credits| Reuters

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