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Buhari to decide when lockdown will be lifted – Minister of health

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, has said President Mohammadu Buhari would determine when to lift the lockdown occasioned by the novel Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Ehanire said this on Sunday Politics programme on Channels Television in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on April 13, Buhari announced a 14-day extension of lockdown in Lagos, Abuja and Ogun states to combat the pandemic.

The initial 14-day lockdown in the three states began on March 30. 

“The President in his wisdom will decide if the lockdown will be lifted,” he said.

The minister said that the decision to extend COVID-19 lockdown was tailored according to the needs of every country.

“We do think that the restriction of movement limits significantly the spread of the virus.

“The models we have seen show that we have not got to the peak yet,” he said.

Ehanire advised Nigerians that if their symptoms were not meeting the case definition of the Nigeria Center for Disease Control, officials might turn them back.

He said that the government had been studying the case in Kano State with their authorities, adding that the ministry would be sending high ranking fact-finding missions there.

Ehanire said that the fact-finding mission would meet with the governor to be able to diagnose the situation, adding it was not really clear if they were COVID-19 related.

“Kano does not have experience with COVID-19 and the rate it has exploded should be of concern to all.

”It is possible to be able to contain it, if the right processes are followed and the right resources are brought in.

“The testing centre should be back on stream tomorrow because a team has gone there now from NCDC and have arrived there today. They should be able to resume screening tomorrow (Monday).

“In addition, we are going to have a second laboratory, we shall have a PCR laboratory, so we should be able to take care of the backlogs and be ready to take care of any other samples that will be brought in, from the seven or eight local government areas that are affected,” he said.

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