Nigeria to impose ‘precision lockdown’ in coronavirus hotspots – Head of task force

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A man wearing a protective face mask is seen on the first day of the easing of lockdown measures during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lagos, Nigeria May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja
A man wearing a protective face mask is seen on the first day of the easing of lockdown measures during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lagos, Nigeria May 4, 2020. REUTERS/Temilade Adelaja

Nigeria will impose “precision” lockdown measures in areas that report rapid increases in cases of the new coronavirus but it will slow the phased reopening of the economy, the head of its task force said on Monday.

The government also extended a full lockdown in the northern economic hub of Kano state, which has the second highest number of confirmed cases in the country behind the commercial capital Lagos, and where authorities are investigating a spate of mysterious deaths.

The government said its phased reopening of strict lockdowns in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states would also go more slowly than initially planned, and the current phase of the gradual reopening would last a further two weeks.

Nigeria had planned to completely ease coronavirus lockdowns in those states over a six-week period from May 4.

“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.”

President Muhammadu Buhari has also approved the immediate extension of the ongoing movements restrictions in the country by another two weeks.

”The measures, exemptions, advisories and scope of entities allowed to reopen under phase one of the eased locked down, shall be maintained across the federation for another two weeks effective from 12 00 midnight today (18th May 2020 to 1st June 2020),” Mr Mustapha announced.

Nigeria has implemented a nationwide curfew from 8.00pm to 6.00 am, ordering individuals to wear face masks in public and banned travel between states.

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