By OBINNA EZUGWU
Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has, in line with the Quarantine Act of 2004, declared Covid-19 virus a dangerous infectious disease, giving legal backing to the measures outlined in his Sunday address to the nation, during which he declared a total lock down of Ogun, Lagos and Abuja as part of measures to contain the spread of the virus.
This comes as the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) reported 20 new cases on Monday, bringing to 131, the total number of cases in the country, even as two persons have died from the virus.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu announced the decision in a statement on Monday.
“In exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act (CAP Q2 LFN 2004), and all other powers enabling him in that behalf, President Buhari, Monday, signed the Covid-19 Regulations, 2020, which declared Covid-19 a dangerous infectious disease,” the statement read.
“The Regulations, effective March 30, 2020, also gave legal backing to the various measures outlined in the President’s National Broadcast on March 29, 2020, such as Restriction/Cessation of Movement in Lagos, FCT and Ogun State and others toward containing the spread of the pandemic in the country.
“In addition, to ensure that Nigerians can still perform on-line transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, exemption is granted financial system and money markets to allow very skeletal operations in order to keep the system in light operations during the pendency of these regulations.”
The president’s decision comes after questions were raised over the legality of his decision to declare total lock down of Ogun and Lagos states. Ogun governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun had earlier on Monday, issued a statement postponing restriction of movement in the state till Friday as according him, palliatives were yet to be provided for the people.