As Nigeria continues to record increasing cases of the COVID-19 infection, the presidency has made a warning against violations of safety guidelines issued to curtail the spread of the virus.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in a statement issued on Sunday, said further violations of the protocols could lead to fresh lockdown.
The statement showed that the Buhari administration is reluctant to lock down the country because many citizens will not have food on the table without venturing out for their day-to-day business.
Mr Shehu wrote: “The Buhari administration is most reluctant to lock down 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.”
He said the COVID-19 pandemic is a threat to the population and the national economy.
“Protecting public health is one of the sacred duties of any responsible government and the administration will not abdicate that responsibility.”
He also appealed to Nigerians to give their maximum cooperation for the success of the policy.
Few weeks after the detection of the first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari imposed a five-week lockdown on the country in March last year. This was followed by a series of lockdowns as part of measures to limit the spread of the virus.
Wearing of face masks, washing of hands regularly with soap and clean water, and practising social distancing are parts of the non-pharmaceutical interventions in place to limit the spread of the virus.
Since early December 2020, there has been a disturbing increase in reported cases and deaths from COVID-19 as the country experiences the second wave of the pandemic.
As of Saturday night, the number of people infected with COVID-19 stood at 130,557 after 1,883 new cases – one of the highest daily figures the country has witnessed – was reported in 23 states across the nation on Saturday.
According to the NCDC data, the COVID-19 death toll in Nigeria stood at 1,578 in total as of Saturday.