The Federal Government yesterday admonished religious and political leaders to show great responsibility and obey its directives in its efforts at containing coronavirus (Covid-19)
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the admonition at a media briefing in Abuja to update Nigerians on Covid-19.
“The Federal Government is aware that some political and religious leaders have either denied the existence of coronavirus or have defied the directives to avoid a large gathering.
“Leaders of all hues must show great responsibility at this time. They must avoid putting the lives of not just their followers but also those of the general public in danger.
“Nigerians too must take responsibility, do what they are requested to do to stay safe and stop blaming others.
“For those who would continue to willfully flout the directives aimed at checking the spread of this disease, the long arm of the law will soon catch them,” he said.
The minister solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians in the area of ‘contact tracing’.
He said the government would not hesitate to deploy the police and the military in tracing suspected individuals in hiding.
“As you may be aware, health services use ‘contact tracing’ to find people who may have been exposed to an infectious disease, in this case coronavirus.
“Those who have come into close contact with others who have coronavirus are at higher risk of infection, and of potentially infecting others.
“For those who will not cooperate by submitting to the authorities as required, the government will use all lawful means at its disposal to trace and bring them in.
“Having now shut our gateway airports, the biggest assignment for us is ‘contact tracing’ to find all those who may have come into contact with those who have the disease,” he said.
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A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has urged federal government to relax the lockdown it imposed on Lagos State as a result of COVID- 19 pandemic.
George, who made the call in a statement in Lagos, yesterday said the lockdown imposed since March 29 was adversely affecting livelihoods and bringing up security challenges.
He said though government intended to curb the spread of the virus with the lockdown, the directive had left many Nigerians hungry at home without palliatives.
The PDP chieftain noted that there must be a balance between curbing the spread of the virus and protecting livelihoods and asked the government to relax the lockdown while putting safety measures in place.
“Everywhere in Lagos is now locked down. The markets, banking halls, the local grocery shops, the supermarkets, the transportation services are all halted, frozen by the federal government directives since March 29.
“On the surface level, the federal government’s position is to ensure safety, prevent communal spread of the virus and banish this scourge from our shores.
“Lagosians have been staying at home for about a month now. In a largely informal economy where most of our people depend on daily wages, the burden of lack of income is devastating.
“There is a natural growing anger in Lagos as the most vulnerable are ravaged with hunger,” George said.
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