The Nigerian government said Thursday that it is not considering a lockdown of any part of the country despite the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
The health minister, Osagie Ehanire, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, said a lockdown can only be considered as a ‘last measure’ because “lockdown stifles economic activity, restricts your own freedom and your business: corporate business, government business, private business all are affected.”
Nigeria implemented a nationwide lockdown for a few weeks last year in the early period of COVID-19. Mr Ehanire said the government has learnt its lessons from that lockdown.
“When we were compelled to have that lockdown at the beginning, we learnt a lot of lessons,” he said.
“You know, at that time, government provided palliatives to reduce the impact of it: if you couldn’t go to market if you couldn’t do your business.”
“But this is not what government is aiming to do, no government wants to do a lockdown,” he said.
Nigeria is currently experiencing the third wave of COVID-19 that has seen the country experience relatively high figures.
On Wednesday, Nigeria recorded 790 cases of COVID-19, the nation’s highest daily figure in the last six months.
According to the update by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the last time the country recorded a higher daily figure was on January 18, at the peak of the second wave of the disease.
Nigeria on that day recorded 877 cases.
Nigeria has so far recorded over 179,000 infections with a fatality toll of 2,195.
Since the discovery of the highly transmissible delta variant of the disease, there has been a consistent spike in infections in Nigeria, with the figure of the country’s active cases currently standing at 11,500.
Health experts and authorities have cautioned Nigerians to take preventive measures against the disease to avert its further spread.
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