COVID-19: Buhari raises alarm over new community infections

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has alerted the nation over reported large proportion of new infections of Coronavirus in communities across the country, through person-to-person contacts.

The president made this known when he addressed the nation on the extension of restriction of movement in Lagos, Ogun and FCT by additional 14 days to curb the spread of the deadly virus in the country.

He said: “As a nation, we are on the right track to win the fight against COVID-19. However, I remain concerned about the increase in number of confirmed cases and deaths being reported across the world and in Nigeria specifically.

“On 30th March 2020, when we started our lockdown in conforming with medical and scientific advice, the total number of confirmed cases across the world was over 780,000.

“Yesterday (April 12), the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases globally was over one million, eight hundred and fifty thousand. This figure is more than double in two weeks!

“In the last fourteen days alone, over 70,000 people have died due to this disease.

“In the same period, we have seen the health system of even the most developed nations being overwhelmed by this virus.

“Here in Nigeria, we had 131 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 12 States on 30th March 2020. We had two fatalities then.

“This morning, Nigeria had 323 confirmed cases in twenty States. Unfortunately we now have ten fatalities. Lagos State remains the center and accounts for 54% of the confirmed cases in Nigeria. When combined with the FCT, the two locations represent over 71% of the confirmed cases in Nigeria.”

However, President Buhari, who noted with satisfaction that the closure of the nation airports and land borders had helped in checking impact of external factors on spread of the virus, said attention must be shifted to contact between person to person in the country.

“By closing our airports and land borders and putting strict conditions for seaport activities, we have reduced the impact of external factors on our country.

“However, the increase in the number of States with positive cases is alarming.

“The National Centre for Disease Control has informed me that, a large proportion of new infections are now occurring in our communities, through person-to-person contacts.


“So we must pay attention to the danger of close contact between person to person.

The president, therefore, reminded all Nigerians to continue to take responsibility for the recommended measures to prevent transmission, including maintaining physical distancing, good personal hygiene and staying at home.

He said: “In addition, I have signed the Quarantine Order in this regard and additional regulations to provide clarity in respect of the control measures for the COVID-19 pandemic which will be released soon.


“The public health response to COVID-19 is built on our ability to detect, test and admit cases as well as trace all their contacts. While I note some appreciable progress, we can achieve a lot more.’’


The president acknowledged what he described as “the incredible work’’ being done by the healthcare workers and volunteers across the country especially in frontline areas of Lagos and Ogun States as well as the FCT.

“You are our heroes and as a nation, we will forever remain grateful for your sacrifice during this very difficult time,’’ he added.

According to him, more measures to motivate the health care workers are being introduced and will be announced in the coming weeks.(NAN)