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Nigeria risks second lockdown, FG warns

By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja

The Presidency has said only adherence to COVID-19 protocols will prevent a second national lockdown.

It urged Nigerians to wear face covering, observe social distancing as well as other non-pharmaceutical interventions to eliminate the possibility of a lockdown.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu in a statement on Sunday evening expressed worry over report of non-compliance with the instructions despite the recent Executive Order issued by President Muhammadu Buhari, prescribing sanctions for non-compliance.

Part of the statement reads: “The Buhari administration is most reluctant to lockdown the country and continues to emphasize the non-pharmaceutical measures and the only way to avert lockdowns is to observe these measures as put in place by the Presidential Task Force.

“Nigerians have come a long way from the dreaded lockdown and the administration is unhappy about any prospects of bringing it back as many citizens will not have food on the table without venturing out on a day- to-day business.

“Nigerians are required to wear masks, wash hands regularly with soap and clean water, and keep safe distance with anybody not in your household, hoping that this will help check spread of COVID-19.

“Though vaccine availability is within reach, the propensity of the public for noncompliance weakens the fight against the virus”, it said.

The statement further urged Nigerians to ignore conspiracy theories that tend to deny the existence of the pandemic in Nigeria, reminding all that COVID-19 is a major threat to public health and the nation’s economy, and that only the non-pharmaceutical interventions, including wearing facemasks, are still the only protection against it for now.

“Nigerians must ignore baseless conspiracy theories that seek to deny the reality of the pandemic by complying with the order to wear masks.

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Source: The Nation

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