President Muhammadu Buhari has approved new directives based on the recommendations by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19
The chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said during a media briefing on Monday, May 18, 2020, that it was one of the president’s new directives aimed towards containing the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
Mustapha said the lockdown will be implemented in states, or in metropolitan and high-burden local government areas that are reporting a rapidly increasing number of cases, when the need arises.
Mustapha failed to be specific about which states are under focus, but Lagos and Kano have recorded the highest number of cases in the country with 2,550 and 825 respectively.
President Buhari had previously imposed a lockdown on Lagos, Ogun, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) between March 30, and May 4.
He then imposed new measures such as overnight curfew, ban on interstate travel, and compulsory wearing of masks in public places, as part of a gradual and phased easing of the lockdown.
The Chairman had last month said the gradual reopening of the Nigerian economy would span the total of six weeks, broken into three tranches of two weeks each.
Also ,the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) said on Monday that the outcomes of the first phase of the eased lockdown are mixed because of rampant non-compliance.
He said this led to the task force’s recommendation to Buhari that the country is not ready for a full reopening of the economy.
He said tough decisions will have to be made as any further relaxation will represent danger to the public.
“Advisedly, the current phase of eased restriction will be maintained for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued,” the SGF said.
Chairman said the extension will also enable other segments of the economy prepare adequately for compliance with the guidelines preparatory to reopening in the coming weeks.