ALL MARKETS, in Lagos state, have been ordered to close down for seven days with effect from Thursday, March 27, except those selling essential commodities, such as medicals, water and foodstuff. The stiff measures, Governor Sanwo-Olu, announced on Tuesday, are part of efforts to curtail the spread of the dreaded coronavirus.
“All open markets and stores except for sellers of food and medicines, medical equipment and other essential life-saving products are directed to close from Thursday 26th, 2020 for the next seven days. It is not a total lockdown, we still want people on essential services to go about their normal activities.
“We are trying to de-centralise markets in Lagos. This is why we want to use some of our closed schools as markets, so people can buy food and medicine without going a long distance. It is only when you are alive that you can talk about economics and finance,” the Governor ordered, in a live televised press conference.
As at the time of the governor’s press briefing, 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Nigeria, 29 of the cases in Lagos.
Tuesday, shortly after Governor Sanwo-Olu’s briefing, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, confirmed two new cases of coronavirus in the country — bringing the number to, 44, as at the time of this report. The two new cases are, likely, Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Buhari, and Bala Mohammed, Governor of Bauchi State.
Both were reported, earlier on Tuesday, to have tested positive for the virus. Kyari returned from official trip to Germany, early in March, with Nigerian official delegation for meeting with Siemens AG. He also visited the UK and Egypt. And has engaged in several top-level government activities, and travelled to visit the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello.
Kyari did not self-isolate after his trips abroad, especially, Germany, known to be high-risk country with records of about 30,000 cases of coronavirus. He later developed symptoms of the disease, and tested positive. It will be complex task for the authorities to trace all Kyari’s contacts, and follow up on subsequent contacts of Kyari’s contacts.
Governor Bala Usman was reported to have met and shook hands with Mohammed Atiku, son of former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, who tested positive for COVID-19, on Sunday.
Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, on media, Mukhtar Gidado, in a statement, Tuesday, said: “This is to inform the general public that the result of the six initial tests carried out by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on His Excellency, Senator Bala Mohammed, his family and aides that accompanied him to Lagos is out.
“Of the six initial tests carried out, one sample was confirmed to be positive of COVID-19. The positive result happened to be that of His Excellency, Senator Bala Mohammed, the Executive Governor of Bauchi State. At this point, it should be noted that the Governor is in self-isolation as his doctors and officials from the NCDC have taken full charge of his quarantine.”