COVID-19: Nigeria Trying Hard To Avoid Another Lockdown, Says Health Minister

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The Federal Government on Thursday said it is trying hard to prevent another lockdown, even as fears continue to mount over the rising cases of COVID-19 infections in Africa’s most populous nation. 

On Wednesday, Nigeria’s infections crossed the 126, 000 mark, out of which 100,365 have recovered, but the government has insisted it would only push for a lockdown of the country as the last resort.

“The lockdown is always a last resort. It is not the first step that the government takes. If you hear of the countries which had to do lockdown –  the UK and many European countries –  it was because they were getting figures that were running virtually amok,” the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire noted on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“So, the consequence of a lockdown on the economy including the social consequences are such that you do not take that (lockdown) as a first step. So, we are trying very hard to see that it does not come to a lockdown.”

‘Without Extra Pain’

As the country drives to tame the ravaging pandemic, adherence to non-pharmaceutical measures have been a knotty issue with many citizens flouting the guidelines.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Secures Additional 41 Million COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday signed the Coronavirus Health Protection Regulation 2021, a move targeted at strengthening Nigeria’s efforts at combating the disease which has infected more than 100 million people globally.

File photo: President Muhammadu Buhari signs the 2020 Appropriation Act into law at the State House in Abuja on December 17, 2019.

And Ehanire believes that citizens’ compliance with the guidelines as released by various health agencies, will aid the country’s push to contain the disease first confirmed in Wuhan, China in late 2019.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 Vaccines Are Meant To Save Lives, Protect Everyone – Buhari

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“The compliance and participation of citizens and adherence to all these rules will go a long way in ensuring that we get what we want without extra pain,” the minister added.

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