The Chairman of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers told the Federal Government on Sunday to extend the current lockdown as the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Nigeria nears the 10,000 mark.
Eze Samuel Ohiri made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, saying the lockdown extension was necessary to avert the rapid spread of the deadly virus in rural communities.
Nigeria has currently recorded 9,855 confirmed cases of the virus, 553 of which were recorded in the past 24 hours.
Two hundred and seventy-five deaths have also been recorded with 2,856 people discharged after recovering from the disease, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control.
On March 4, President Muhammadu Buhari announced a nationwide lockdown to check the spread of the virus and extended the lockdown on May 4.
Ohiri, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Hi-Tech Diagnostics Ltd., noted that the lockdown had isolated the deadly virus to only metropolitan areas.
“Any plan to relax the lockdown at this time is not advisable because it will trigger community transmission from the metropolitan areas to rural areas.
“Nigeria at the moment has lost over 200 lives to COVID-19 and we cannot afford to lose more. So let government not relax the lockdown for now.”
The monarch also lauded the Federal Government’s efforts so far in containing the virus, urging State Governments to sustain the restriction on inter-state movements.
According to him, as soon the lockdown is lifted, inter-state movements will commence and community transmission will set in.
“A country like Ghana recorded unprecedented 60 per cent increase in COVID-19 infections after relaxing their lockdown.
“This disease is very deadly that even the survivors still suffer damage of one organ or the order, especially the lungs.”
The royal father, however, described speculations of conspiracy theory on COVID-19 as unfounded rumours, saying that proper education was required to prepare people against the virus.
He emphasised the imperative of collective responsibility in the fight against the virus, saying that total adherence to safety measures was key to reducing spread.
Ohiri disclosed that his firm had manufactured testing kits for COVID-19 and that the kits were capable of showing results in five minutes.