Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has announced an extension of the lockdown in the capital Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states in order to sustain the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The initial 14-day lockdown was due to end Monday night but has now been extended by 14 days.
Essential workers, food shops and pharmacies will, however, be allowed to operate during the lockdown.
In a televised national address on Monday, President Buhari said the fight against coronavirus is a matter of life and death.
He said although the lockdown has put Nigerians in a difficult situation, it was necessary to save lives.
Mr Buhari said the initial two weeks of the restriction order had helped the authorities to trace people who had contacted those already infected.
He thanked Nigerians for their sacrifice and for complying with the government’s guidelines in fighting the pandemic.
“At this point, I must recognise the incredible work being done by our healthcare workers and volunteers across the country especially in frontline areas of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory.”
So far Nigeria has confirmed 343 cases of the virus with 10 fatalities.
Apart from the federal government’s lockdown of the capital Abuja, as well as Lagos and Ogun states, a number of state governments across the country have also imposed restrictions as more people test positive for the virus.
Many Nigerians continue to complain that they have not benefited from relief food and cash allocated to poor families by the government.
Buhari said the relief food programme will be extended to an additional one million families in the next two weeks.