President Muhammadu Buhari approved an extension to movement restrictions on Monday, May 18, introduced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) through Monday, June 1. The government stated that the phased reopening of lockdown measures in Abuja, Lagos, and Ogun states would proceed more slowly and would not be lifted until June 1 at the earliest. Authorities also stated that targeted lockdown measures would be introduced in areas where reported cases of COVID-19 rapidly increase. A nationwide overnight curfew between 20:00 and 06:00 (local time) remains in place, with businesses such as bars, gyms, clubs, and spas are still closed.
The government also extended the lockdown in Kano state through Tuesday, June 2, due to the high number of COVID-19 cases reported there. Additionally, the Katagum, Giade, and Zaki local government areas (Bauchi state) remain under lockdown until Friday, June 22. Authorities have called on security personnel to oversee the lockdown, and will reportedly enhance contact tracing, quarantine infected individuals, decontaminate areas, and carry out mass testing of residents.
Authorities have been gradually lifting the 24-hour stay-at-home-order in Abuja and Lagos since Monday, May 4. Selected businesses and offices were permitted to open from 09:00 to 18:00 but must decontaminate workspaces and ensure that social-distancing and hygiene measures are enforced. The wearing of face masks in public is mandatory, while restrictions on social and religious gatherings remain in place; those found in breach of these measures may face prosecution in the form of a fine or imprisonment. Schools and restaurants remain closed; interstate passenger travel will be banned until further notice. Business activities may operate for only three days per week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays) between the hours of 07:00 and 16:00. Businesses must also provide liquid soap and running water, while supermarkets must limit the number of customers in their stores to ten people. Companies found not complying with these measures will be shut down for six months.
Nigeria's airports remain closed except for emergency and essential flights, such as cargo transportation. A ban on domestic flights is in effect until Sunday, June 7.
As of Tuesday, May 19, there are at least 6175 cases of COVID-19 nationwide, including 191 associated deaths. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the general risk of transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.
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