Nigeria began easing restrictions on Monday, May 4 in its capital Abuja and in Lagos, its largest city, marking the reopening of Africa’s biggest economy after more than four weeks of lockdown
Nigeria has recorded 2,802 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus and 93 deaths since recording its first case at the end of February, a much lower toll than those seen in COVID-19 hotspots in Europe and the United States.
The government has said a stay-at-home order in place since March 30 in Abuja and the states of Lagos and Ogun will be lifted gradually over a six-week period.
The regions will now come in line with the rest of the country where the restrictions in force were less strict and include an overnight curfew, mandatory face masks in public and a ban on non-essential interstate travel.
“We must do all we can to stop the spread of #COVID19 so we must all take responsibility and do what is necessary to remain safe,” said Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a tweet, hours before restrictions were eased.
On Monday morning, the usually frenetic streets of the coastal megacity Lagos, largely empty during the lockdown, were busy with cars, buses and motorised tricycle taxis.
Faced with morning rain, people in the city’s Iyana Oworo district huddled under a bridge, ignoring social distancing rules, but most people wore masks.
Businesses have been allowed to reopen provided they have decontaminated their offices, can enable social distancing and offer hand sanitizer and hand washing. Schools and places of worship remain closed, restaurants can only operate on a takeaway basis, and all cultural events have been cancelled.
245 new cases of #COVID19;— NCDC (@NCDCgov) May 4, 2020
2802 confirmed cases of #COVID19 in Nigeria
Deaths: 93 pic.twitter.com/IkHR3dpcVV
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