COVID-19: Ignore fake lockdown alert, PTF tells Nigerians

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has urged Nigerians to disregard a fake fresh lockdown alert in circulation on social media.

PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, made this known in a short video statement released on Thursday.

There have been concerns regarding a fresh lockdown as the country battles the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

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But Aliyu said the government was aware of the economic implication of a fresh lockdown and, therefore, urged Nigerians to adhere to all guidelines to curb the spread of the disease.

He said, “We are aware of a fake message on WhatsApp that we’ve declared a lockdown in the country. This is absolutely not true. I call on the Nigerian public to please ignore this message and continue with normal activities.

“I’m also calling on the public to abide by the non-pharmaceutical interventions including wearing of face masks in the public, washing of hands and maintaining physical distancing.

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“There is an established way that we send our messages to the public including declarations when it comes to infection control. So, please ignore what is being going round on WhatsApp.”

We had earlier reported that the Federal Government in March 2020 locked down the Federal Capital Territory as well as Lagos and Ogun States for over five weeks as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the first wave of the pandemic. The lockdown had a tremendous effect on economic activities with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry putting the loss at about N3bn in the period under review.

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Many jobs were also lost as airlines, hotels, banks, amongst others cut their workforce due to the crushing effect of the lockdown.

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