Fearing an explosion in cases of novel coronavirus, President Muhammadu Buhari has imposed a national curfew, banned inter-state travels, and relaxed lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states effective from May 5.
But he placed a two-week immediate total lockdown on Kano state, north west Nigeria where coronavirus had become a monster and recording mysterious deaths.
In a national broadcast on the night of April 27, 2020, Buhari said that the overnight curfew is from 8pm to 6am.
The lockdown of Kano, he said, was to contain the spread of coronavirus and that government would deploy necessary human, material and technical resources to support the State in controlling and containing the pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighbouring States.
In the gradual relaxation of the lockdown however, the President said that all movements will be prohibited during this period except for essential services.
Other measures included a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travel until further notice and partial and controlled interstate 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,’’ he said.
Furthermore, he said that the restrictions on social and religious gatherings would remain in force.
State Governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists would be encouraged to support the production of cloth masks for citizens, he said.
In keeping with our government’s promise to improve the welfare of healthcare workers, he said: “We have signed a memorandum of understanding on the provision of hazard allowances and other incentives with key health sector professional associations.’’
“We have also procured insurance cover for 5,000 frontline health workers,’’ he said, and commended the insurance sector for their support in achieving this within a short period of time.
As the country focused on protecting lives and properties, he said that government would not tolerate any human rights abuse by security agencies.
“The few reported incidences are regrettable, and I want to assure you that the culprits will be brought to justice,’’ but urged Nigerians to continue to cooperate and show understanding whenever they encounter security agents.
Furthermore, for their protection, he said he had instructed that the personnel of all the security agencies be provided with the necessary personal protective equipment against infection.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has accredited 15 laboratories across the country with an aggregate capacity to undertake 2,500 tests per day across the country.
Expressing deepest condolences to the families of all Nigerians that have lost their loved ones as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, he reported that as at Monday morning, Nigeria had recorded 1,373 cases across 32 States and with 40 deaths.