Nigeria to gradually ease lockdown restrictions: COVID-19

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the nation on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Abuja, Nigeria March 29, 2020. Nigeria Presidency/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS- THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY

Nigeria’s president said the country will begin a gradual easing of lockdown restrictions to curtail the spread of the coronavirus in the capital, Lagos, Abuja and Ogun States May 4.

In a national broadcast late Monday, Muhammadu Buhari said he made the decision after reviewing the more than a four-week lockdown to allow the country’s economy to operate and still keep a steady response in containing the virus.

President Buhari said the new measures also include a mandatory use of face masks and a curfew from 8pm to 6am, with only essential travel allowed during the 10-hour period.

Buhari also said he is sending more health workers and equipment to northwest Kano State, where the lockdown will remain in place because of an increase in covid-19 cases.

Buhari also promises to hold security personnel accountable for human rights abuses during the lockdown.

Nigeria reported 1,273 cases of the coronavirus and 40 deaths.