COVID-19: Please stay at home, Buhari appeals to Nigerians -

1. Fellow

2. I will
start by commending you all for the resilience and patriotism that you have
shown in our collective fight against the biggest health challenge of our

3. As at
yesterday, 26th April 2020, some three million confirmed cases of COVID
nineteen have been recorded globally with about nine hundred thousand
recoveries. Unfortunately, some two hundred thousand people have also died passed away as a result of this pandemic.

4. The health
systems and economies of many nations continue to struggle as a result of the
coronavirus pandemic.

5. Nigeria
continues to adopt and adapt to these new global realities on a daily basis.
This evening, I will present the facts as they are and explain our plans for
the coming month knowing fully aware that some key variables and
assumptions may change in the coming days or weeks.

6. Exactly two
weeks ago, there were three hundred and twenty-three confirmed cases in 20
States and the Federal Capital Territory.

7. As at this
morning, Nigeria has recorded one thousand two hundred and seventy-three cases
across 32 States and the FCT. Unfortunately, these cases this includes 40 death fatalities.

8. I will be using this opportunity to express our deepest condolences to the families
of all Nigerians that have lost their lives loved ones as a result of the COVID
nineteen Pandemic. This is our collective loss and we share in your grief.

9. Initial
models predicted that Nigeria will record an estimated two thousand confirmed
cases in the first month after the index case.

10. This means
that despite the drastic increase in the number of confirmed cases recorded in
the past two weeks, the measures we have put in place thus far have yielded
positive outcomes against the projections.

11. The proportion of cases imported from other countries has reduced to only 19% of
new cases, showing that our border closures yielded positive results. These
are mostly fellow Nigerians returning through our land borders. We will
continue to enforce land border arrival protocols as part of the containment

12. Today, the
Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has accredited 15 laboratories
across the country with an aggregate capacity to undertake 2,500 tests per day
across the country.

13. Based on
your feedback, Lagos the State Government and the FCT with support from NCDC is
have established several sample collection centres in Lagos and the FCT. They
are also reviewing their laboratory testing strategy to further increase the
number of tests they can perform including the accreditation of selected
private laboratories that meet the accreditation criteria.

14. Several
new fully equipped treatment and isolation centres have been operationalised
across the country thereby increasing bed capacity to about three thousand. At
this point, I will commend the State Governors for the activation of
State-level Emergency Operation Centres, the establishment of new treatment centres
and the delivery of aggressive risk communication strategies.

15. Over ten
thousand healthcare workers have been trained. For their protection, additional
personal protective equipment has been distributed to all the states. Although
we have experienced logistical challenges, we remain committed to establishing a
solid supply chain process to ensure these heroic professionals are can work
safely and are properly equipped.

16. In keeping
with our Government’s promise to improve the welfare of healthcare workers, we
have signed a memorandum of understanding on the provision of hazard allowances
and other incentives with key health sector professional associations. We have
also procured insurance cover for five thousand frontline health workers. At
this point, I must commend the insurance sector for their support in achieving
this within a short period of time.

17. Nigeria
has also continued to receive support from the international community,
multilateral agencies, the private sector and public-spirited individuals. This
support has ensured that critical lifesaving equipment and materials, which
have become scarce globally, are available for Nigeria through original
equipment manufacturers and government-to-government processes.

18. The
distribution and expansion of palliatives which I directed in my earlier
broadcast are still ongoing in a transparent manner. I am mindful of the
seeming frustration being faced by expectant citizens. I urge all potential
beneficiaries to exercise patience as we continue to fine-tune our logistical
and distribution processes working with the State Governments.

18. I have
directed the Central Bank of Nigeria and other financial institutions to make
further plans and provisions for fiscal stimulus packages for small and
medium scale enterprises. We recognise the critical role that they play in
Nigeria’s economy.

19. Our
Security Agencies continue to rise to the challenge posed by this unusual
situation. While we feel deeply concerned about isolated security incidents
involving hoodlums and miscreants, I want to assure all Nigerians that your
safety and security remains our primary concern, especially in these exceedingly
difficult and uncertain times. As we focus on protecting lives and properties,
we will not tolerate any human rights abuses by our security agencies. The few
reported incidences are regrettable, and I want to assure you that
the culprits will be brought to justice.

20. I urge all
Nigerians to continue to cooperate and show understanding whenever they
encounter security agents. Furthermore, for their protection, I have instructed
the personnel of the security agencies to be provided with the necessary personal
protective equipment for their own protection.


21.22. As we
continue to streamline our response in the epicentres of Lagos and the FCT, I
remain am concerned about the unfortunate developments in Kano in recent days.
Although an in-depth investigation is still ongoing, we have decided to deploy
additional Federal Government human, material and technical resources to
strengthen and support the State Government’s efforts. We will commence
implementation immediately.

22.23. In
Kano, and indeed many of other States that are recording new cases, preliminary
findings show that such cases are mostly from interstate travel and emerging
community transmission.

23.24. Drawing
from these, I implore all Nigerians to continue to adhere strictly to the
advisories published by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control. These include
regular hand washing, social physical distancing, wearing of face
masks/coverings in public, avoidance of non-essential movement and travels and
avoidance of large gatherings remains paramount.

24.25. Fellow
Nigerians, for the past four weeks, most parts of our country have been under
either the Federal Government or State Government lockdowns. As I mentioned
earlier, these steps were necessary and overall, have contributed to slowing
down the spread of COVID nineteen in Nigeria.

However, such lockdowns have also come at a very heavy economic cost. Many of
our citizens have lost their means of livelihoods. Many businesses have also
shut down. No country can afford the full impact of a sustained lockdown while
awaiting the development of vaccines or cures.

26.27. In my
last address, I mentioned the Federal Government will develop strategies and
policies that will protect lives while preserving livelihoods.

27. In
these two weeks, the Federal and State Governments have jointly and
collaboratively worked hard on this how to balance the need to protect the health
while also preserving livelihoods, leveraging global best practice while
keeping in mind our peculiar circumstances.

28. We
looked at how our factories, markets, traders and transporters can
continue to function while at the same time respecting adhering to the NCDC
guidelines on hygiene and social distancing.

29. We
assessed how our children can continue to learn without compromising their

3o. We
reviewed how our farmers can safely plant and harvest in this rainy season to
ensure our food security is not compromised. Furthermore, we also discussed how
to safely transport food items from rural production areas to industrial
processing zones and ultimately, to the key consumption centres.

31. Our goal was to develop implementable policies that will ensure our economy
continues to function with while still maintaining our aggressive response to
the COVID nineteen pandemic. These same difficult decisions are being faced by
leaders around the world.

32. Based
on the above and in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Task
Force on COVID nineteen, the various Federal Government committees that have
reviewed socio-economic matters and the Nigeria Governors Forum, I have
approved for a phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos and
Ogun States effective from Saturday, 4th May 2020 at 9am.

However, this will be followed strictly with aggressive reinforcement of
testing and contact tracing measures while allowing the restoration of some
economic and business activities in certain sectors.

34. The
highlights of the new nationwide measures are as follows;

a. Selected
businesses and offices can open from 9am to 6pm;

b. There will
be an overnight curfew from 8pm to 6am. This means all movements are will be
prohibited during this period except essential services;

c. There will
be a ban on non-essential inter-state passenger travels 

until further notice;

d. There will
be Partial and controlled interstate movement of goods and services will be
allowed to allow for the movement of goods and services from producers to
consumers, and

e. We will
strictly ensure the mandatory use of face masks or coverings in public in
addition to maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene. Furthermore,
the restrictions on social and religious gathers shall remain in place.
State Governments, corporate organisations and philanthropists are encouraged
to support the production of cloth masks for citizens.

35.36. For the
avoidance of doubt, the lockdown in the FCT, Lagos & Ogun States shall
subsist remain in place until these new ones come into effect on Saturday, 2nd
May 2020 at 9am.

36.37. The
Presidential Task Force shall provide sector-specific details and timing
guidelines to allow for preparations by Governments, businesses and

37. The above
are guidelines. State Governors may choose to amend adapt and expand based on
their unique circumstances provided they maintain alignment with the guidelines
issued above on public health and hygiene.

38.39. These
revised guidelines will not apply for to Kano State. The total lockdown
recently announced by the State Government shall remain enforced be enforced
for the full duration. The Federal Government shall deploy all the necessary
human, material and technical resources to support the State in controlling and
containing the pandemic.

39.40. I wish
to once again commend the frontline workers across the country who, on a daily
basis, risk everything to ensure we win this fight. For those who got infected
in the line of duty, be rest assured that Government will do all it takes to
support you and your families during this exceedingly difficult period. I will
also take this opportunity to assure you all that your safety, wellbeing and
welfare remains paramount to our Government.

40.41. I will
also recognize recognise the support we have received from our traditional
rulers, the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Supreme Council for
Islamic Affairs and other prominent religious and community leaders. Your cooperation
and support have significantly contributed to the successes we have recorded to
date. I will urge you all to please continue to create awareness on the
seriousness of coronavirus among your worshippers and communities while
appealing that they strictly comply with public health advisories.

41.42. I will
also, thank the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and the Presidential Task Force for all
their hard work to date. Through this collaboration, I remain confident that
success is achievable.

42.43. I also
wish to thank corporate organisations, philanthropists, the UN family, the
European Union, friendly nations, the media and other partners that have taken
up the responsibility of supporting our response.

43.44. And
finally, I will thank all Nigerians again for your patience and cooperation
during this difficult and challenging period. I assure you that government
shall continue to take all necessary measures to protect the lives and
livelihoods our citizens and residents.

39. I thank
you for listening and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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