Nigeria: Key Things Buhari Said in His Speech On Lockdown Extension

(file photo).
13 April 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari has addressed Nigerians for the second time on Coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The President noted that the objective for the lockdown was to contain the spread of the Coronavirus and to provide space, time and resources for an aggressive and collective action.

"This is not a joke. It is a matter of life and death. We cannot be lax," the president stressed.

What was achieved during the first 14 days lockdown

1. Over 7,000 Healthcare workers were trained on infection prevention and control while deploying NCDC teams to 19 states of the federation.

2. 92% of all identified contacts was done while doubling the number of testing laboratories in the country and raising our testing capacity to 1,500 tests per day.

3. Implementation of comprehensive public health measures which intensified case identification, testing, isolation and contact tracing capabilities.

4. Lagos and Abuja have the capacity to admit some 1,000 patients each across several treatment centres.

5. 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.

Where we are now

The president further revealed what is to come and what is currently in place for the fight against the pandemic in Nigeria.

1. A large proportion of new infections are now occurring in the communities, through person-to-person contacts.

2. Signing of the Quarantine Order and additional regulations to provide clarity in respect of the control measures for the COVID-19 pandemic which will be released soon.

3. Approach to the virus remains in 2 steps - First, to protect the lives of Nigerians and residents living here and second, to preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners.

4. Extension of 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.

5. The previously issued guidelines on exempted services shall remain.

What the govt is doing

1. In the past two weeks, we announced palliative measures such as food distribution, cash transfers and loans repayment waivers to ease the pains of our restrictive policies during this difficult time. These palliatives will be sustained.

2. The current social register will be expanded from 2.6 million households to 3.6 million households in the next two weeks. This means an additional one million homes will be added to the social investment programs.

3. The Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment, Communication and Digital Economy, Science and Technology, Transportation, Aviation, Interior, Health, Works and Housing, Labour and Employment and Education will jointly develop a comprehensive policy for a "Nigerian economy functioning with COVID-19".

4. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the National Security Adviser, the Vice Chairman, National Food Security Council and the Chairman, Presidential Fertiliser Initiative will work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to ensure the impact of this pandemic on the 2020 farming season is minimized.

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