Buhari, task force to meet Friday as nationwide lockdown looms

The President, Maj. Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will today (Friday) meet with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 over the lockdown imposed on the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Ogun States.

According to Punch, the task force and the president would deliberate on the possibility of extending the two-week lockdown in the FCT, Ogun and Lagos states as well as including other parts of the country as they ramp up the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19).

At a meeting with the National Assembly leaders on Thursday, the task force said it had gathered data to enforce “lockdown of parts or all of the states” in the country.

“The President was supposed to be briefed this evening (Thursday evening), but we had to delay because we are waiting for reports and recommendations from some affected states. All things being equal, the President will be briefed on Friday and will take necessary actions,” a task force official told Punch.

The newspaper added that an official of an isolation centre in Abuja said a recommendation had been made for an extension nationwide.

The doctor, who wished to remain anonymous, said some persons, who tested positive for coronavirus, had not travelled before.

He said,

“We in the FCT have recommended an extension of the lockdown because we believe we are now facing a community spread. For instance, one of the people who tested positive is a cook that has never travelled before.

“The cook’s boss recently returned from outside the country, but the boss tested negative. So, where did the cook get it from? We are also working on a report by the World Health Organisation that COVID-19 can be spread through currency.

“We have submitted our report to the case management team, which will in turn submit a report to the emergency operational committee for final submission to the presidential task force. However, we did not state in the report how many days should be added to the lockdown. We don’t know if our recommendation will be accepted.”

It was also gathered that the lockdown might be extended to all parts of the country to enable health workers to conduct more tests and fish out people who had contracted the virus.

More than a week after the president announced the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT, COVID-19 cases in the country has jumped from 111 to 288, with the virus spreading to 16 state and killing seven persons.

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