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COVID-19: 18 councils with 60% of cases for lockdown

Precision lockdown will be slammed on 18 local government areas across the country where 60 per cent of COVID-19 cases have been found, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Control said on Monday.

However, the state government and local authorities where the councils are located, will administer the lockdown, it added.

Chairman of PTF Boss Mustapha who spoke at a news conference after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari at the end of the four-week gradual easing of lockdown, said: “For the precision lockdown, we have identified 18 local governments out of the 774 local government that are considered to be high burden with this infection and they account for 60 per cent of 24, 077 infections.

“The reason for the precision lockdown is to place  specific measures that will be administered by state governments and local authorities. It is not for the federal government, it’s the responsibilities of states and local authorities.”

Mustapha was accompanied to brief the President by Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Coordinator of the PTF Dr Sani Aliyu and Director General of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu.

Giving more explanation on the precision lockdown, Dr. Sani said some of these local government areas have issues to do with their location and the fact that they do not have defined borders. We will be sending out clarification as soon as we finish this piece of work.

“The restrictions of movement in these local government areas is only one of several interventions we are putting in place in terms of the hotspots. There will be precision targeting in these areas not only to increase testing but also to improve isolation, to make sure that we do a lot of risk communication and public awareness activities.

“So, cessation of movement is only part of it. And in some of the local governments, it may be impracticable to do so. We already know some local government where it may be impossible to do this.

“Overall, what we are trying to do is to put out the small fires across the country rather than trying to fight raging fire across the whole country which will be very difficult and will also be damaging economically for us.

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“For those areas that we know have high burdens, that the numbers are increasing rapidly, where we have high positivity rate, we will be introducing specific precision measures working with the state governments to make sure that we get on top of this.

“This will be a job that will continue to review regularly. We expect some local government areas to drop after the interventions and some to be added.”

He added that the PTF will be forced to review some of the new measures should the pandemic continued to increase.

Although the 18 local government areas were not named on Wednesday, The Nation on June 2, published a list of 20 local government areas where the virus spread is prevalent from a report obtained from the NCDC.

The councils on the list and the cases found in them as at then are as follows: Mainland (1,274), Abuja Municipal (536), Mushin (458), Eti-Osa (403), Tarauni (248), Katsina (242), Alimosho (239), Maiduguri (167), Kosofe (175), Dutse (170), Ikeja (168), Nassarawa (152), Oshodi/Isolo (132), Apapa (131), Amuwo Odofin (129), Oredo (126), Bauchi (114), Lagos Island (111), Surulere (110) and Ado Odo/Ota (107).

They were also rated them as hosting 60 per cent of cases in the country.

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