President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the extension of lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun state.
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“As your democratically elected leaders, we made this very difficult decision knowing full well it will severely disrupt your livelihoods and bring undue hardship to you, your loved ones and your communities. However, such sacrifices are needed to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our country. They were necessary to save lives”.
“Our objective was, and remains, to contain the spread of the Coronavirus and to provide space, time and resources for aggressive and collective action.”
President Buhari praised the level of compliance by Nigerians saying that is part of what is needed to fight the virus. “The level of compliance to the COVID-19 guidelines issued has been generally good across the country. I wish to thank you all most sincerely for the great sacrifice you are making for each other at this critical time”.
President Buhari also praised the religious bodies, saying, “I will take this opportunity to recognise the massive support from our traditional rulers, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) during this pandemic”.
“I must also thank the media houses, celebrities and other public figures for the great work they are doing in sensitizing our citizens on hygienic practices, social distancing and issues associated with social gatherings.”
Giving account of the achievemnet in the lst 14 days Buhari said, “As a result of the overwhelming support and cooperation received, we were able to achieve a lot during these 14 days of initial lockdown.”
“We implemented comprehensive public health measures that intensified our case identification, testing, isolation and contact tracing capabilities.”
“To date, we have identified 92% of all identified contacts while doubling the number of testing laboratories in the country and raising our testing capacity to 1,500 tests per day.”
“We also trained over 7,000 Healthcare workers on infection prevention and control while deploying NCDC teams to 19 states of the federation.”
“Logos and Abuja today can admit some 1,000 patients each across several treatment centres.
Many State Governments have also made provisions for isolation wards and treatment centres. We will also build similar centres near our airports and land borders.”
“Using our resources and those provided through donations, we will adequately equip and man these centres in the coming weeks. Already, health care workers across all the treatment centres have been provided with the personal protective equipment that they need to safely carry out the care they provide.”
‘Our hope and prayers are that we do not have to use all these centres. But we will be ready for all eventualities.”
“At this point, I must recognise the incredible work being done by our healthcare workers and volunteers across the country especially in frontline areas of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory”.
President Buhari also praised health workers calling them heroes and hearings, “You are our heroes and as a nation, we will forever remain grateful for your sacrifice during this very difficult time. More measures to motivate our health care workers are being introduced which we will announce in the coming weeks.”
On the lockdown, the president said, “Today, the cessation of movement, physical distancing measures and the prohibition of mass gatherings remain the most efficient and effective way of reducing the transmission of the virus. By sustaining these measures, combined with extensive testing and contact tracing, we can take control and limit the spread of the disease.”
Defending why another 14 days is needed, President Buhari said, “Our approach to the virus remains in 2 steps – First, to protect the lives of our fellow Nigerians and residents living here and second, to preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners.”
“With this in mind and 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.”