President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the phased and gradual easing of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT Abuja beginning from Saturday, 2 May.
The President announced this during his third nationwide broadcast on COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, “Based on the above and in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the various Federal Government committees that have reviewed socio-economic matters and the Nigeria Governors Forum, I have approved a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States effective from Monday, 4th May, 2020″
However, this will be followed strictly with aggressive reinforcement of testing and contact tracing measures while allowing the restoration of some economic and business activities in certain sectors.
The announcement will enable many who have been forced to stay at home for more than a month as well as businesses to reopen.
President had on March 29 first announced a two-week lockdown, which became effective on Monday, March 30. He would extend it for another two weeks.
Read part of the speech below:
ADDRESS BY H.E. MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE CUMULATIVE LOCKDOWN ORDER OF LAGOS AND OGUN STATES AS WELL AS THE FEDERAL CAPITAL TERRITORY ON COVID- 19 PANDEMIC AT THE STATE HOUSE, ABUJA, MONDAY, 27th APRIL, 2020
- Fellow Nigerians
- I will start by commending you all for the resilience and patriotism that you have shown in our collective fight against the biggest health challenge of our generation.
- As at yesterday, 26th April 2020, some 3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded globally with about 900,000 recoveries. Unfortunately, some 200,000 people have passed away as a result of this pandemic.
- The health systems and economies of many nations continue to struggle as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
- Nigeria continues to adapt to these new global realities on a daily basis. Today, I will present the facts as they are and explain our plans for the coming months fully aware that some key variables and assumptions may change in the coming days or weeks.
- Exactly two weeks ago, there were 323 confirmed cases in 20 States and the Federal Capital Territory.
- As at this morning, Nigeria had recorded 1,273 cases across 32 States and the FCT. Unfortunately, this includes 40 deaths.
- I am using this opportunity to express our deepest condolences to the families of all Nigerians that have lost their loved ones as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is our collective loss and we share your grief.
- Initial models predicted that Nigeria will record an estimated 2,000 confirmed cases in the first month after the index case.
- This means that despite the increase in the number of confirmed cases recorded in the past two weeks, the measures we have put in place thus far have yielded positive outcomes against the projections.
- The proportion of cases imported from other countries has reduced to only 19% of new cases, showing that our border closures yielded positive results. These are mostly fellow Nigerians returning through our land borders. We will continue to enforce land border arrival protocols as part of the containment strategy.
- Today, 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.
- Based on your feedback, Lagos State Government and the FCT with support from NCDC have established several sample collection centers. They are also reviewing their laboratory testing strategy to further increase the number of tests they can perform including the accreditation of selected private laboratories that meet the accreditation criteria.
- Several new fully equipped treatment and isolation centres have been operationalised across the country thereby increasing bed capacity to about three thousand.