Only Buhari will determine when to lift COVID-19 lockdown – Health Minister

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The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, says President Muhammadu Buhari will determine when to lift the lockdown order in Lagos, Abuja and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Ehanire disclosed this on Sunday while speaking on the efforts made by the Federal Government to tackle COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

“The President will make that announcement in his own time. We will give him the facts, he will consider the facts and make his own announcements using his own wisdom,” the Minister said.

In order to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the country, President Buhari had on May 29 declared a total lockdown.

While directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, Buhari asked all citizens in the affected areas to stay in their homes, adding that travel to or from other states should be postponed.

Two weeks after the expiration, the President extended the lockdown on April 13 for another two weeks.

But when asked if it is professionally wise to relax the lockdown or to extend it, the Minister did not affirm or oppose the question.

He believes that every country has the right to balance the medical and health-related benefits from the economic-related benefits.

According to him, the decision of whether or not to extend the lockdown has to be tailored according to the needs of Nigerians.

“What happens is that every country, you balance the medical and the health-related benefits from the economic-related benefits because you have an economy you don’t want to kill and you also have the health side that you don’t want to destroy.

“It’s a very delicate balance which you need to do. All countries do that; it’s not only in our country. Even in the United States, they have that debate all the time. Do we open the economy now or do we not open it now?” he said.

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