FG says it will renew lockdown if Nigerians ignore social distancing

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By Joy Muoneke, Abuja

Federal government has warned Nigerians that if they fail to adhere to safety precautions, the country will be on lockdown again – Photos and videos which surfaced on social media on Monday, May 4, showed widespread disregard for safety precautions – The government says it is worried by the widespread disobedience to the guidelines by individuals and corporate organisations

The federal government has vowed to lockdown parts of the country again should there be a spike in coronavirus cases. This was revealed during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday, May 4.

Speaking at the briefing, the director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, lamented that many banks flouted the NCDC’s guideline for social distancing, infection prevention and control.

He said although the NCDC expected some lapses in compliance with safety precautions, it was worried by the widespread disobedience to the guidelines by corporate organisations.
NCDC boss, Chikwe Ihekweazu lamented that the disregard to safety precautions by individuals and organisations
His words: “We can produce all the guidelines in the world but if organisations are not going to come up and support the implementation of these measures and help us manage the risks and focus on a risk-based approach, then our efforts might amount to little or nothing. “Today we might forgive a little bit because it was the first day. However, we will have infections because of what happened today, no doubt about that. “But what is more important is how we can learn from the mistakes of today into tomorrow and into next tomorrow, so that by Friday, hopefully, they will have normalised some of these things.” “We might have a few extra infections today and tomorrow, but what we don’t want is an explosion of new infections. “If we do have that explosion, there will be almost no choice left for the leadership of the country than to ask all of us to go back into our homes. “So for the benefits of having a few hours a day of coming out and reopening parts of the economy, there is a price to pay and that price is that we organise ourselves to do this strictly.” Photos and videos which surfaced on social media from Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, showed widespread disregard for the NCDC’s safety precautions.

Many Nigerians expressed worry that with the lack of precautions by individuals and corporate organisations, the country might record an astronomical number of infections in the coming days.

Recall that two Lagos-based lawyers, Isaiah Odje and Adebayo Johnson, had warned the government that the partial easing of lockdown in Lagos, against the spread of novel coronavirus, is risky.

The lawyers spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews on Thursday, April 30 in the mega-city.

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