Lockdown order to continue in some regions: Nigerian President

Sunday, April 12th, 2020 03:04 |
File photo shows Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addressing a press conference. (Xinhua)


Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has hinted that the lockdown in some states across the country, including the main cities, may last "indefinitely."

In a statement late Saturday, Buhari said that the country had come to a point where choices had to be made "between continuing as usual, or accepting the restrictions even when they come with unintended consequences."

"The freedoms we ask you to willingly forsake today will only last as long as our scientific advisers declare they are necessary," the president said, hinting that the lockdown will not come to an end soon. "But they are essential - the world over - to halt and defeat the spread of this virus."

The most populous African country had locked down its main cities, Abuja and Lagos, its commercial hub, as part of the measures to curb the spread.

The largest economy in Africa also shut down its airports for foreign and domestic flights, as well as railway services across the country.

Buhari saluted the Nigerian citizens for what he described as "their patience, resolve and strong determination to defeat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak."

Buhari said at "this darkest hour," the government would continue to offer the citizens the full and unvarnished truth, urging them to listen and follow public announcements via the mass media for instructions as to how to receive government support and learn of more public assistance in the coming days.

The number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria rose to 318, with some 70 recovered cases and 10 deaths as of late Saturday. The pandemic has spread to a total of 19 out of 36 states in the country. (Xinhua)

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