Chikwe Ihekweazu, the director-general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), says the easing of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the federal capital territory (FCT) was not a mistake.
After five weeks under a lockdown declared by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 30, restriction of movement in Lagos, Ogun and FCT was partially relaxed on Monday.
Many residents of these areas openly flouted the guidelines issued for the lockdown relaxation, as there was disregard for physical distancing, especially in banks and buses.
However, the NCDC DG insists that the federal government’s decision to relax the lockdown was not a mistake as corporate organisations were expected to take responsibility on crowd control.
Speaking on Tuesday when he appeared on Your View, a programme on TVC, he added that the agency also relied on the common sense of Nigerians on limiting physical distancing.
“On our side, we don’t think it was a mistake. We knew at some point this day had to come, but we really expected Nigerians and corporate Nigeria to take a little bit more responsibility for what happened yesterday.
“There’s only so much government can do. We can issue lockdown, we can bring out the police, we can do so much. We rely on the common sense of most Nigerians; we rely on corporate Nigeria taking responsibility. This is not being done for NCDC or for the federal government. It’s not being done for the state government. It’s being done for us.
“So, we really are counting yesterday as an exception. Let’s take yesterday as a blip. Let’s see what happens today. Let’s see corporates that come out of their offices and organise the queues in front of their offices. Let’s see how many corporates organise their office spaces, actually put out their hand washing [facilities] and educate their staff on the changes that they need to do for themselves. All of us have to take responsibility.”
As of May 4, a total of 2,802 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in 34 states and the FCT.
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