Buhari eases Lockdown May 4, orders compulsory use of Face Masks

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Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has approved a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States effective from Monday, 4th May, 2020.

This is even as he ordered for mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene.

Buhari who addressed the nation earlier today, also imposed an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am, saying that all movements would be prohibited during this period except for essential services.

The President said, the easing of lockdown would 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.

He however, said that the restrictions on social and religious gatherings shall remain in place, adding that State Governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists are encouraged to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.

“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.

“Furthermore, new nationwide measures are to be introduced as follows;

“There will be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am. This means all movements will be prohibited during this period except for essential services;

“There will be a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travel until further notice;

“Partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services will be allowed for the movement of goods and services from producers to consumers; and

“We will strictly ensure the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public in addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene. Furthermore, the restrictions on social and religious gatherings shall remain in place. State Governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists are encouraged to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos and Ogun States shall remain in place until these new ones come into effect on Monday, 4th May 2020.

“The Presidential Task Force shall provide sector specific details to allow for preparations by Governments, businesses and institutions.

“In respect to the above guidelines, State Governors may choose to adapt and expand based on their unique circumstances provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines issued above.

“To support our businesses and traders, the monetary and fiscal authorities shall deploy all the necessary provisions needed for production to continue and thus, jobs restored,” he said.

With regards to Kano, the President directed the enforcement of a total lockdown for a period of two weeks.

“With regards to Kano, I have directed the enforcement of a total lockdown for a period of two weeks effective immediately.

“The Federal Government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the State in controlling and containing the pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighbouring States,” he said.

He said, the nation’s goal was to develop implementable policies that would ensure the economy continues to function while still maintaining aggressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that over 10,000 healthcare workers have been trained, and for their protection, additional personal protective equipment have been distributed to all the states.

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