FG Expresses Concern over Non-Compliance with Guidelines, Warns of Another Lockdown

Appalled by the wholesale disregard for its guidelines on the relaxation of the five-week lockdown of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States, the federal government raised the alarm about a potential spike in the spread of COVID-19 yesterday, warning that if that happens it would have no choice than to shut down the country.
President Muhammadu Buhari had caved in to pressure last Monday, relaxing the lockdown effective from yesterday but had mandated the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to issue guidelines on the general conduct of citizens during phased reopening of the economy and social life.
The basic rules of mask-wearing and physical distancing were routinely disobeyed yesterday by many Nigerians who hit the roads of Abuja and Lagos in frenzied efforts to catch up with lost income-earning activities that had been locked down for weeks.
The crowds massed at the bus stops and bank branches, raising concerns about the acceleration of community transmission of the virus.
Incidentally, the tally of confirmed cases of the virus rose by 245 yesterday, the highest daily rise since the February 27 index case, bringing the tally to 2,802 with 93 deaths and 417 persons discharged across 34 states.
The new cases were reported from 16 states, including Lagos 76, Katsina 37, Kano 23, FCT 19, Jigawa 32, Borno 18, Edo 10, Bauchi nine, Adamawa six, Oyo five, Ogun five, Ekiti one, Osun one, Benue one, Niger one and Zamfara, one.
Addressing the press yesterday in Abuja during its daily briefing on efforts to control the pandemic, officials of the task force, particularly, its Chairman, Mr. Boss Mustapha, and the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, expressed concerns about the general negligence of Nigerians, fearing that it could lead to the escalation of the deadly infection.

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