Buhari approves 'gradual easing of lockdown measures' in key Nigeria cities

Buhari approves 'gradual easing of lockdown measures' in key Nigeria cities

Buhari approves 'gradual easing of lockdown measures' in key Nigeria cities

In his address, Mr Buhari said he was approving a "phased and gradual easing" of lockdown measures in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun.

Buhari also unveiled measures including a nationwide night-time curfew and the compulsory wearing of face masks.

The easing will apply to Abuja, Lagos and neighbouring Ogun state, where collectively more than 25 million people have been under lockdown since 30 March. "Many businesses have shut down".

President Muhammadu Buhari said the lockdowns, which had been due to end on Monday, needed to continue until 4 May.

Since the lockdown, Nigeria has recorded a total of 1,273 cases, 239 recoveries and 40 fatalities.

Millions of Nigeria's 200 million citizens, more than 20 million of whom live in Lagos, live on daily wages, and the lockdown left many without money to buy food.

"The federal government shall deploy all the necessary human, material and technical resources to support the state in controlling and containing the pandemic and preventing the risk of further spread to neighboring states." .

In a worrying sign that the outbreak in Nigeria is not over even as the government aims for a return to normalcy, Buhari also imposed new restrictions on the northern state of Kano, where cases have risen to 77 and public officials are looking into a reported spike in deaths, according to Reuters.

The state government acknowledged the deaths but said they were caused by complications from hypertension, diabetes, meningitis and acute malaria and not the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje had earlier in the day decried the alleged neglect of the state by the federal task force committee on COVID-19 despite the intensity of the situation in the state.

Buhari also opined that the cases in "Kano, and indeed many other States that are recording new cases, preliminary findings show that such cases are mostly from interstate travel and emerging community transmission".

However, Paul Yakadi, an assistant inspector-general of police in charge of zone 5, Benin has narrated the events that led to Bissong's death.

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