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NAS, NEMA, stakeholders canvass nationwide lockdown, strategic plan

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The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) has advocated lockdown of the country for four weeks due to increase in the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus. President of the academy, Professor Mosto Onuoha, in a statement yesterday, said it was time to shut down the country to reduce the number of new importations and community transmissions.

“Regrettably, Nigeria has in the last one week, seen dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases. It is now time for a national lock down, especially now that the disease has invaded the highest echelon of our governance, threatening national security.

“While the effort of state governments is lauded, the lockdown should be national, with uniform regulations and should be led by the Federal Government. “With a shutdown, all citizens are required, as much as possible, to stay at home leaving room only for essential activities that allow for basic functions such as feeding and accessing health care.

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“Only workers on essential services, such as healthcare and electricity, will be expected to go out and no social gatherings should be allowed,” he said.

On the necessity of a lockdown, Onuoha stated that most of the confirmed cases were imported with a few more being contacts of the imported cases, adding, “This suggests the possible existence of community transmission and the need for early containment.”

Similarly, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has canvassed a strategic plan on the provision of food and water to the people of Kogi State, as part of efforts to ameliorate the sufferings of people in the event of escalation of COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Lokoja yesterday, Head, Abuja Operations Office of NEMA, Bitrus Samuel, said the agency was in the state to verify the capacity of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) in the event that people were compelled to stay indoors to prevent spread of the disease.

Samuel, who was represented by Reuben Babatunde said, “Following NEMA’s activation of the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) on COVID-19 pandemic, we are in Kogi State to hold meetings with the relevant ministries and organisations to come up with strategic plan for the provision of food and water supplies.”

Earlier, Executive Secretary, Kogi State Emergency Management Agency (KSEMA), Julius Mejiyan, who presided at the meeting, appealed to NEMA to assist the state with logistics, supply of food and water whenever the need arose.

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