By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the current restriction of movement in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) by another 14 days to curb the spread of Coronavirus disease in the country.
The President, who confirmed this in a nationwide broadcast in Abuja on Monday, however said ”the previously issued guidelines on exempted services shall remain”.
He said the extension was informed by the advice given to him by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
”Having carefully considered the briefings and Report from the Presidential Task Force and the various options offered, it has become necessary to extend the current restriction of movement in Lagos and Ogun States as well as the FCT for another 14 days effective from 11:59 pm on Monday, 13th of April, 2020.
“I am therefore once again asking you all to work with Government in this fight.
”This is not a joke. It is a matter of life and death. Mosques in Makkah and Madina have been closed.
”The Pope celebrated Mass on an empty St. Peter’s Square. The famous Notre Dame cathedral in Paris held Easter Mass with less than 10 people.
“India, Italy and France are in complete lockdown. Other countries are in the process of following suit. We cannot be lax.
”The previously issued guidelines on exempted services shall remain.
”This is a difficult decision to take, but I am convinced that this is the right decision. The evidence is clear,” he said
According to him, the repercussions of any premature end to the lockdown action are unimaginable.
”We must not lose the gains achieved thus far. We must not allow a rapid increase in community transmission. We must endure a little longer,” he added.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the President had on March 29 addressed the nation over the novel Coronavirus pandemic where he directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from March 30, to check the spread of the disease.
The NCDC says as at 9.30 p.m on April 12, there are 323 confirmed cases of COVID19 pandemic in the country, while 85 have been discharged with 10 deaths.
There is also a reduction of new positive cases of the pandemic and majority in stable condition, 85 were treated and discharged.
The number of new cases as at April 12 were fewer as compared to April 11 with 13 new cases of virus.
Lagos remains the epicentre with 176 cases, 56 cases in FCT, 20 in Osun, 12 in Edo, 11 in Oyo, 11 in Bauchi, 6 in Akwa Ibom, 5 in Katsina 5, Kwara 4, Kaduna 6, 7 in Ogun 7, 2 each in Enugu, Ekiti, Delta, Ondo and Rivers, and 1 each in Benue, Niger, Anambra and Kano States.
The agency has also tested over 5,000 Nigerians for COVID-19 across the country.