Nigeria to impose ‘precision lockdown’ in coronavirus hotspots – task force head

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Nigeria will impose “precision” lockdown measures in areas that report rapid increases in cases of the new coronavirus but it will slow the phased reopening of the economy, the head of its task force said on Monday.

The government also extended a full lockdown in the northern economic hub of Kano state, which has the second highest number of confirmed cases in the country behind the commercial capital Lagos, and where authorities are investigating a spate of mysterious deaths.

The government said its phased reopening of strict lockdowns in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states would also go more slowly than initially planned, and the current phase of the gradual reopening would last a further two weeks.

Nigeria had planned to completely ease coronavirus lockdowns in those states over a six-week period from May 4.

“Nigeria is not yet ready for full opening of the economy and tough decisions have to be taken for the good of the greater majority,” said Boss Mustapha, the chairman of Nigeria’s presidential task force for COVID-19. “Any relaxation will only portend grave danger for our populace.”

Nigeria has also implemented a nationwide curfew from 8.00pm to 6.00 pm, ordered individuals to weak face masks in public and banned travel between states. Mustapha said the country would step up enforcement of these measures.