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Nigeria: Federal Government Considers Targeted Lockdown In Lagos, Abuja And Plateau

Abuja — The federal government hinted yesterday that it was considering targeted lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as well as Lagos and Plateau States.

National Incident Manager of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Mukhtar Muhammed, who stated while speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme, described as alarming the rising cases of COVID-19 infections recorded in the three urban areas.

Muhammed said data showed that urban local governments in the affected places recorded the highest cases of COVID-19 amid the second wave of the pandemic in Nigeria.

According to data by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Lagos with 46,935 cases, Abuja 16,470 cases, Plateau 7,801 have recorded the highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities in Nigeria in the last eleven months.

Asked about the possibility of a targeted lockdown and not a total lockdown based on data of hotspot areas, Muhammed said, “That is exactly what we did. We have been analysing the data and we have been looking at the geographical areas that have been most affected and the different age groups.

“Certainly, even if we are going to have a lockdown, it is not going to be a total lockdown. A couple of weeks back, we analysed the data and we identified the hotspot local government areas.

“The urban areas are the most affected and that is why we have these super spreaders and that is where we are going to target. We have analysed that and we are advising the states based on the data that these are the focused areas where these transmissions are more than the others.”

NSIA Equips 21 Health Facilities With 53 Oxygen Concentrators, 126 Monitors

Meanwhile, in a bid to assist the federal government scale up its COVID-19 response, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has formally handed over 126 units of patient monitors and 63 units of oxygen concentrators to 21 healthcare institutions across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

The move is part of the authority’s COVID-19 relief programme as the country battles the second wave of the pandemic.

With the nation’s economy still in recovery, the relief equipment is expected to add to the current stock of critical medical equipment required for the containment of the virus in Nigeria.

The supply of oxygen concentrators and patient monitors is expected to boost the government’s efforts to provide an efficient and effective healthcare response for those affected by the virus.

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The shortage of oxygen concentrators and patient monitors is hampering government’s efforts in providing an efficient and effective healthcare response for those affected by the virus during the first wave of the pandemic.

Speaking at the virtual handing over ceremony, the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge negative impact on the global community, disrupting well established health care systems.

Mustapha who is also the chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 said since the outbreak of the pandemic in Nigeria, the federal government had taken stringent measures to combat the spread of the virus.

He listed some of the measures taken so far to check the spread of the virus to include the ban on flights, the imposition of curfew, nationwide lockdown, and compulsory wearing of face masks among others.

The SGF regretted that despite these measures, the lack of compliance with non-pharmaceutical measures had compelled the government to issue the Coronavirus Disease Health Protection Regulation of 2021 which was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 26.

He also said the federal government had rehabilitated oxygen plants and would be constructing one each in every state of the federation to boost its response to the pandemic.

Mustapha told the participants at the virtual launch that the federal government would not rest until it ensures that the battle against the pandemic is won.

Also speaking at the event, the minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, commended the NSIA for its intervention in the healthcare centres in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Federal Medical Centre Umuahia and the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital Kano.

The minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, said since the outbreak of the pandemic, the federal government had been coming up with policy measures to cushion the negative impact of the pandemic on the economy.

On his part, the director-general of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said in the last one year, over 120,000 COVID-19 cases had been recorded with the death of 1,500 people.

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