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17 Apr 2020 | 05:12 AM UTC

Nigeria: Security forces kill 18 since March 30 amid COVID-19 lockdown restrictions /update 12

Nigerian security forces killed 18 people during their implementation of COVID-19 lockdown measures implemented on March 30; follow local authorities directives



On Thursday, April 16, reports stated that the security forces have killed at least 18 people in incidents linked to their enforcement of lockdown measures introduced on Monday, March 30, due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) received 105 complaints of human rights violations by authorities during the lockdown period. The police have not responded to the NHRC's findings. However, the police had previously encouraged the public to report any abuses by law enforcement. Reports state that in Nkpor (Anambra state), police killed at least two youths in clashes during a protest against the detention of their friends for allegedly violating restrictions.

On Monday, April 13, President Muhammadu Buhari announced a 14-day extension to ongoing lockdowns in the cities of Abuja and Lagos and Ogun state. Buhari added that the lockdowns in some states could last indefinitely. Restrictions have been introduced in a number of states including Bauchi, Delta, Ekiti, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kwara, Niger, Osun, and Rivers states.

As of April 17, there are 442 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 13 associated deaths in the country. Further international spread of the virus is 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 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 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.