UN urges FG to impose second lockdown over rising COVID-19 cases

United Nations (UN), Tuesday, urged the Federal Government to impose restriction on movement in the country following rising wave of positive cases of the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The UN said the move has become imperative so as to check the spread of a likely second wave of virus in the country.

This is as the Presidential Task force (PTF) on Covid-19 has maintained that the decision to impose a second national lockdown on the country will be determined not by the government but by the attitude of Nigerians towards observing the laid-down safety protocols already issued for managing the virus.

According to the UN, a restriction of movement could be effective in reducing the spread of the virus in the country.

The UN report read: “Infection control measures based on restricting movement and interpersonal contact can be effective in slowing down the transmission of infection, giving healthcare systems more time and capacity to cope with COVID-19. These measures – including isolation, physical distancing will only be effective if a community-wide implementation is successful.

“As the mitigation measures will require people to self-impose difficult restrictions on their social interactions and movements, there is a need for a robust risk communication strategy that expands the web of community engagement and cooperation.

“In this regard, we deployed culturally sensitive communication strategies co-created with the Lagos State government; Local Government administrators; Civic Leaders, women’s organisations and networks, Religious and Traditional Leaders to ensure open and honest transmission of messages.”

Nigeria has so far recorded 102, 601 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 1,373 fatalities from the virus as at last Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, also Tuesday, January 12, said the attitude of Nigerians will determine the imposition of a fresh lockdown.

This is with respect to their compliance or non-compliance to COVID-19 protocols amid the second wave of the pandemic, the PTF stated.

PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, stated this while featuring on a television programme, adding that while no decision has been taken on a fresh lockdown yet, public attitude will determine whether or not the task force would impose a fresh lockdown.

“A lockdown is not going to be decided by the PTF; but it is going to be decided by the behaviour of the public when it comes to these rules.

“We have countries abroad that have very strict non-pharmaceutical intervention measures; and everybody follows it. The flights are coming in; schools are open; churches are open. They don’t have Covid problem because everybody observes the rules.

“We definitely don’t want a lockdown and because we don’t want to lock down; we need to make sure we do everything we can to prevent ourselves from reaching that state; where the government will have to take action,” Aliyu said.

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