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Another total lockdown may be counter productive – Keyamo

By Idowu Abdullahi, 

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN, has advanced reasons why the introduction of another total lockdown as being touted in some parts of the country may be counter-productive in the containment of the virus within Nigeria’s border.

He said the explained that though the confirmed coronavirus cases in the country had risen to over four thousand, the country needs to learn to live with the virus before a control can be gain against the deadly respiratory disease.

Keyamo, through a post on his social media page, said by practicing social distancing and adhering strictly to other safety and health guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID- 19 and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the country would emerge stronger devise ways of containing the virus.

According to him, reimposing a total lockdown in the country after gradual easing by President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government, the act of maintaining social distancing and learning survival skills against the virus will be elusive rendering the lockdown counterproductive.

“My personal view is that another total lockdown would be counterproductive. Before defeating the virus, we must learn to live with it all around us & practice the skills of avoiding it like a landmine. Practice makes perfect. We cannot perfect those skills by locking ourselves up,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, the Minister’s concerns may not be unconnected to the Lagos State Government warning that it could reintroduce statewide lockdown if residents do not desist from breaching coronavirus preventive measures.

The state’s Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Saturday, said the option was being considered following a large number of Lagos residents who have continued to violate all the COVID-19 preventive measures in spite of the numerous appeals made and sensitization done to explain the consequences of their non-adherence to medical experts directives.
“Let me reiterate that the success of this gradual easing of the lockdown is dependent upon the compliance of each and every one of us.
“As a Government, elected to uphold the security of Lagos State – and this includes health security – let me make it clear that we will not hesitate to review the terms of this easing if we continue to see evidence that Lagosians are determined to flout the rules.
“I am aware that the Presidential Task Force has also made this point; that the continued maintenance of this easing is only guaranteed when people consistently comply,” the Governor had said.
Also, the apex government had in a veiled warning cautioned Nigerians against being complacent on the virus preventive measures, adding that such could erode the gains already recorded in the nation’s fight against the pandemic.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, said though the easing of lockdown was as a result of the early battle which was won against the virus and not the war itself, adding that Nigerians should not return to their full ways of lives yet as the dangers of the pandemic remain strong as before.

Aliyu, while speaking during the daily press briefing by the task force in Abuja, on Monday, May 4th, 2020, urged Nigerians, not to jettison health experts advise and other public safety measures put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus.

He added that the easing of the lockdown was not a license to relax all self-protecting measures against the deadly respiratory disease, adding that social distancing must be adhered to while the citizens should avoid religious houses till such times control is gained against the virus.

“It is absolutely necessary that we continue to maintain those measures that will protect us. Those measures should be implemented as a bundle because with COVID-19 infection, you can have transmission from more than just droplets.

“So I’m appealing once again that we must wear our masks to protect ourselves and the others at all times. We must keep washing our hands, we must maintain the same physical distance of two meters to comply with the eased lockdown.

“The danger of acquiring COVID-19 is even more clear and present now that we are all slowly going back to work,” he had said.

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