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10 Apr 2020 | 03:25 PM UTC

Nigeria: Authorities lock down Plateau state until April 15 due to COVID-19 /update 7

Authorities implement lockdown in Plateau state until April 15 due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) concerns; follow government directives

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Event

The Plateau state governor, Simon Lalong, has declared a lockdown until Wednesday, April 15, to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The measure came into force at 00:00 (local time) on Thursday, April 9, and will remain in place until 23:00 on Wednesday, April 15. During the lockdown, authorities will fumigate 17 councils within the state. Some 2500 police officers have been deployed to ensure compliance with the state government's directives.

On Monday, April 7, the state authorities of Yobe and Jigawa announced lockdown extensions of 21 and 14 days, respectively, in order to contain the spread of COVID-19. As such, movement into and out of the states will remain restricted for the duration of the lockdown, while all nonessential businesses and offices will be closed. The restrictions will not apply to hospitals and other medical institutions. Commercial establishments including food, petroleum, electricity, and private security companies will also be exempt from the measures.

On Thursday, April 2, a 14-day lockdown came into effect in Bauchi state, three days after similar measures were implemented in Abuja, Lagos, Ogun state, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). All international passenger flights into Lagos' Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) and Abuja's Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV) are suspended through Thursday, April 23. Exceptions will be made for emergency and essential flights. Authorities had previously halted international flights into Enugu, Kano, and Port Harcourt.

To date, there have been 288 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and seven reported deaths nationwide. Further international spread of the virus is expected.

Context

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.

Advice

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.