Why COVID-19 lockdown extension is necessary – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari said Monday that hardship currently being faced by Nigerians as a result of COVID-19 movement restrictions by announced by the federal government in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states was necessary to save lives and contain the spread of the disease in the country.
The president said this in a nationwide broadcast to update Nigerians on the fight against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.  
@As your democratically elected leaders, we made this very difficult decision knowing fully 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 still remains, to contain the spread of the Coronavirus and to provide space, time and resources for an aggressive and collective action,” he said.

The president said the level of compliance to the COVID-19 guidelines issued has been generally good across the country.
“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 also acknowledge the support and contributions received from public spirited individuals, the business community and our international partners and friends.“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,” he said.

The president said government was able to achieve a lot during the 14 days initial lockdown as a result of the overwhelming support and cooperation received from the citizens.
He said: “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. 
“Lagos and Abuja today have the capacity to 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 centers 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 centers 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.”
The president said he remains concerned about the increase in number of confirmed cases and deaths being reported across the world and in Nigeria specifically.
“On 30th March 2020, when we started our lockdown in conforming with medical and scientific advice, the total number of confirmed cases across the world was over 780,000.
“Yesterday, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases globally was over one million, eight hundred and fifty thousand. This figure is more than double in two weeks!

“In the last fourteen days alone, over 70,000 people have died due to this disease. In the same period, we have seen the health system of even the most developed nations being overwhelmed by this virus.
“Here in Nigeria, we had 131 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 12 States on 30th March 2020. We had two fatalities then. This morning, Nigeria had 323 confirmed cases in twenty States. Unfortunately we now have ten fatalities. Lagos State remains the center and accounts for 54% of the confirmed cases in Nigeria. When combined with the FCT, the two locations represent over 71% of the confirmed cases in Nigeria.
“Most of our efforts will continue to focus in these two locations. Majority of the confirmed cases in Lagos and the FCT are individuals with recent international travel history or those that came into contact with returnees from international trips,” he said.

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