Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has hinted that the 18 local government areas in Nigeria that account for 60 percent of COVID-19 cases may have to be locked down to contain spread of the pandemic in the country.
This is even as it has linked the low mortality rate in the country compared to other countries with similar climatic characteristics to the age bracket of most of those infected by the virus.
Chairman of the Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, stated this after he led his team to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the progress of the national response to the pandemic at the presidential villa, Abuja on Monday.
He said the precision lockdown would be implemented by the government of the states where the 18 local governments reside.
The SGF added that Nigeria has not reached its peak and with 39 molecular labs, warning that the number of infections will continue to rise.
Mustapha while urging state governors to drive the process, also asked all local authorities including religious and traditional leaders to ensure compliance to non pharmaceutical interventions.
He added that the reason for the precision lockdown will be to place specific measures in certain places especially by state governments to enable aggressive testing for the disease and management.
Speaking to State House Correspondents, on the low rate of mortality in the country, the SGF said 80 percent of the infections were in the age bracket of 31 to 40 years, which he described as a very active part of the population.
According him, even when they have the infection, they are able to surmount it because of their level of energy.
Mustapha, however, said that the PTF was worried about the remaining 20 percent as he said nobody knows who may become victim among them.
Therefore, he said, everything was being done to protect the vulnerable such as the elderly and those with underlying illnesses.