COVID-19: Lockdown may be extended beyond 14 days, says SGF

By Zainab Olawunmi

The secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has said there is a possibility that the lockdown will be extended beyond 14 days.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier declared a 14-day lockdown in Ogun, Lagos and the federal capital territory.

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He said the declaration is part of the federal government effort to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.

Speaking at the presidential task force on COVID-19 briefing in Lagos on Tuesday, the SGF said an evaluation will be done by the end of the week to assess the achievements made during the lockdown period.

He said recommendations will be made to the president, who will then decide if the lockdown should continue or not.

“Before the end of the week, we would do an evaluation to see how the objectives we have set are being met. At the end of that exercise, we would have the responsibility of reporting to Mr President, because Mr President in his declaration did state that it was on the advice of the minister of health and the health experts that informed his decision to sign the quarantine declaration 2020,” he said.

“At the end of our evaluation, certain sets of recommendation and advice would go to Mr President. And at that point, he and he alone takes the decision as to when the lockdown will either be extended or it would stop at the expiration of the 14 days.

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“Because in his address to the nation, he did say 14 days in the first instance. So, it is open, it is based on what has happened within these 14 days. And objectives that have been set, have they been met? Have we achieved success in the direction we want to go?

“If that has been achieved, he would look at all the information available to him as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and I can assure you he would take a decision that it’s in the best interest of the people of Nigeria.”

Nigeria has confirmed 238 cases of COVID-19. While 35 persons have recovered, five deaths have been recorded.

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