Breaking: FG Hints At Possible Covid-19 Lockdown

Breaking: FG Hints At Possible Covid-19 Lockdown

…As UK Imposes Travel Ban On 11 African Countries


Dani Aliyu

Following the increase in Covid-19 cases in the country, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Sani Aliyu, on Thursday said the Federal Government will consider a fresh lockdown if the rising cases of Covid infections recorded lately continue.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had on Monday, said the Federal Government has no plan to impose a fresh lockdown as the country battles the second wave of the pandemic.

But speaking on Thursday, at the weekly briefing in Abuja, the PTF Coordinator, Aliyu said the rising Covid infections recorded of recent in the country call for concern and might require a fresh lockdown.

Aliyu said, “If these numbers continue to go up and we start having significant deaths, we will have no option. If we do not want to lock down, now is the time to make sure that we follow the non-pharmaceutical interventions.”

Similarly, the PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who spoke earlier, said, “The Presidential Task Force is very concerned about the increasing daily numbers that we are recording.

“On 6th of January 2021, we recorded 1,664 infections. This is yet another all-time high in Nigerian and we must all take full responsibility through compliance and vigilance.”

The Federal Government had in March 2020 locked down the Federal Capital Territory as well as Lagos and Ogun States for over five weeks as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic. The lockdown had a tremendous effect on economic activities with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry putting the loss at about N3bn in the period under review.

Many jobs were also lost as airlines, hotels, banks, amongst others cut their workforce due to the crushing effect of the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom has imposed ban on travellers entering England from 11 African countries in a bid to prevent the spread of a new COVID-19 variant.

A press statement on the government website stated that the restriction will take effect on Saturday and remain in place for two weeks.

Part of the statement read, “Entry into England will be banned to those who have travelled from or through any southern African country in the last 10 days, including Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Eswatini, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Mozambique and Angola – as well as Seychelles and Mauritius.

“This does not include British and Irish Nationals, longer-term visa holders and permanent residents, who will be able to enter but are required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival along with their household.

“The government has therefore also removed Botswana, Seychelles and Mauritius from the travel corridor list, with the changes coming into place from 4am on Saturday 9 January 2021.

“Any exemptions usually in place – including for those related to employment – will not apply and those British nationals arriving into England from the other southern African countries, Seychelles and Mauritius after 4am on Saturday 9 January cannot be released from self-isolation through Test to Release. People sharing a household with anyone self-isolating from these countries will also have to self-isolate for 10 days.

“Ministers have also removed Israel (and Jerusalem) from the government’s travel corridor list, as data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England has indicated a significant change in both the level and pace of confirmed cases of coronavirus. The decision to remove Israel (and Jerusalem) has been made following a sustained and accelerating increase in COVID-19 cases per 100,000 of the population, similar in trajectory to the UK.”

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