In measures to rejuvenate their crippled economy and livelihood since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some European countries have started easing their earlier imposed lockdown restrictions on human movement and activities.
Austria, which was one of the first European countries to follow neighbouring Italy in imposing strict lockdown measures about a month ago, is set to reopen thousands of shops in order to restart its standstill economy.
The country’s chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, in an open letter to the people, said Austria has managed to flatten the curve of the ravaging diseases and he cannot wait for the country to “come out of this crisis as quickly as possible and fight for every job in Austria.”
With a little above 14,000 confirmed cases and 384 deaths cases, Austria is among the 15 most affected European countries by the pandemic disease.
In a similar development, Spain and Italy, who have suffered the hardest-hit countries in Europe, have also made moves to ease the lockdown restrictions.
While Spain has allowed some businesses to return to work, Italy is set to allow a narrow range of firms to resume operations on Tuesday.
“We are still far from victory – from the moment when we will recover normality in our lives.
“We are all keen to go back out on the streets… but our desire is even greater to win the war and prevent a relapse,” the country’s Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez said over the weekend.
Denmark is reopening schools for younger children while Poland is also making arrangements to lifts restrictions on some sections of the country’s economy by Sunday.
On the contrary, the French President, Emmanuel Macron, has extended the lockdown for another four weeks until 11 May in order to sustain the progress recorded against the pandemic disease so far.
“The 11th of May will be the start of a new phase.
“It will be progressive and the rules can be adapted according to our results,” Mr Macron told his countrymen as he promised to reopen school after the new extension even though restaurants would remain shut till further notice.
Also in a telecast broadcast on Monday night, the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, announced the extension of the lockdown imposed on Lagos, Ogun and Abuja by 14 days as the country’s confirmed cases currently stand above 340 while 10 death cases have been recorded.
Mr Buhari has announced the addition of 1 million households to the controversial National Social Register (NSR) palliatives benefits to 2.6 million households.
This pegs the figure of the supposed beneficiaries to 3.6 million households.
“This is not a joke, it is a matter of life and death,” he cautioned as he called on country’s policymakers to draft a COVID-19 working system.
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