#COVID19: FG Denounces Non-Compliance With Lockdown Lift Guidelines On May 4th.”Another Lockdown May Be Necessary”— NCDC
The Federal Government of Nigeria under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed displeasure at the widespread non-compliance with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19’s guidelines for the gradual reopening of the economy.
In the face of mounting social distress and discontent, President Buhari last week ordered a “phased and gradual easing,” replacing the lockdown with an overnight curfew.
President Buhari had, on 30 March, imposed a two-week lockdown on the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun states, but at the expiration of the first lockdown on 13 April, he extended it by another 14 days. In his broadcast on 27 April, Buhari said phased, and gradual easing of the lockdown would begin on 4 May (yesterday), and he also imposed a dusk to dawn curfew on the nation.
The relaxation has however triggered deep concern in some quarters, given the widespread nature of the coronavirus and the poor state of Nigeria’s health system.
Statistics have boomed overnight, as 2,802 cases have been confirmed as at the last NCDC Update.
The Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control(NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu warned that the lockdown could be restored if stipulated guidelines are not observed, with reference to the surge in coronavirus cases.
Guidelines on the gradual reopening of the economy issued by the PTF a few days after the presidential address included a mandate on the use of face masks in public.
Yesterday, Monday the 4th has however seen many violating the PTF guidelines, including social distancing. Although banks limited the number of people that entered their premises, customers ignored social distancing as they crowded at bank gates. Pedestrians and motorists from Ogun State crossed over to Lagos in violation of the ban on interstate movements.
The NCDC boss complained that many banks limited the number of their branches that opened, adding that there would be a spike in infections due to the way people mingled. He asked organisations to support the implementation of the preventive measures, help manage the risk and focus on a risk-based approach.
Meanwhile, statistics have shown that a large percentage of the Nigerian population lives below the poverty level, at less than 1 dollar a day.