Nigeria extends lockdown in three states

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the country’s coronavirus lockdown in three major states —Abuja, Lagos and Ogun — for another week until May 4.

In a national address Monday evening, Buhari said the country will phase into an eased lockdown period, with some businesses and sectors being allowed to open after the total lockdown period ends on May 4. After this date, there will also be overnight curfews from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time in the three states.

Meanwhile, the northern state of Kano will be place under total lockdown for two weeks because of a spike in the number of deaths in the region. These deaths have not been officially linked to coronavirus. However, autopsies have not been carried out because they are not in line with Islamic burial practices in the state, officials said.

Nigeria first introduced lockdowns for the three worst affected states on March 30. This was then extended for a further two weeks by the President.

Buhari added that Nigeria’s Center for Disease Control on Monday accredited 15 laboratories nationwide with an aggregate capacity to undertake 2,500 tests per day across the country. Nigeria has only tested around 10,000 people so far, out of a population of 200 million.

As of Monday, the country has recorded 1,273 positive Covid-19 cases and 40 deaths, according to the NCDC.

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