Niger state Governor Abubakar Bello announced on Tuesday, June 9, the easing of some restrictions introduced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Bello stated that restrictions on business operations, including markets and banks, would be relaxed. Bello also announced the easing of restrictions on movement within Niger state and the dismantling of internal security checkpoints. Interstate travel remains restricted, and commercial motorcycle operations remain prohibited within the state. The use of face masks in public places and social distancing rules remain in place. Restrictions on movement between 22:00 (local time) and 04:00 are also in place, with the exception of the transporting of agricultural produce, manufactured goods, petroleum products, and other essential goods. Public employees have been advised to remain at home unless they are providing essential services.
The Nigerian government announced further easing of COVID-19 restrictions from Tuesday, June 2. From Tuesday, places of worship will be permitted to reopen as long as those attending worship wear face masks and observe social distancing. Hotels may also open under certain conditions. The government stated that domestic flights are scheduled to resume from Sunday, June 21, from Abuja Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV), Lagos Murtala Mohammed International Airport (LOS), Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (KAN), Port Harcourt International Airport (PHC), and Owerri Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport (QOW). Other airports will be permitted to operate following further review. The government offered no comment on when international flights will be permitted, with only emergency and cargo flights currently operating. President Muhammadu Buhari also approved the lifting of lockdown measures in Kano state as of Monday, June 1. A nationwide overnight curfew remains in place between 22:00 and 04:00. Businesses such as bars, gyms, clubs, and spas are still closed.
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, and 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.
As of Friday, June 12, there are at least 14,554 cases of COVID-19 nationwide, including 387 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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