Health workers, food vendors, journalists, others exempted from Lagos, Abuja lockdown

Medical Doctors (health workers) attending to patients used to illustrate the story health
Doctors attending to patients used to illustrate the story

Health workers, food manufacturers and retailers, as well as journalists, were among those exempted from the movement restriction President Muhammadu Buhari imposed on Lagos, Ogun and Abuja.

President Buhari in his first address to Nigerians on the coronavirus crisis, on Sunday, ordered residents of Lagos, Ogun and Abuja to stay at home for 14 days from Monday.

“Based on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC, I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020. This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and the high traffic between the two States,” the president said.

Lagos and Abuja are the hardest-hit with 68 and 21 cases respectively of Nigeria’s 111 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Sunday night.

Mr Buhari also said relief materials would be deployed to the affected states in the coming weeks though he did not mention the type of relief packages.

Exempted

“This order does not apply to hospitals and all related medical establishments as well as organizations in healthcare-related manufacturing and distribution”, the president said.

Commercial establishments such as food processing, distribution and retail companies; petroleum distribution and retail entities, power generation, transmission and distribution companies; and private security companies are also exempted.

Mr Buhari said workers in telecommunication companies, broadcasters, print and electronic media staff who can prove they are unable to work from home are also exempted.

“Although these establishments are exempted, access will be restricted and monitored,” he noted.

“All seaports in Lagos shall remain operational in accordance with the guidelines I issued earlier. Vehicles and drivers conveying essential cargoes from these ports to other parts of the country will be screened thoroughly before departure by the Ports Health Authority.

“Furthermore, all vehicles conveying food and other essential humanitarian items into these locations from other parts of the country will also be screened thoroughly before they are allowed to enter these restricted areas.”

Nigeria now has 97 cases of the disease while one person has died.



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