COVID-19: PTF rules out precision lockdown on high-burden LGAs

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic has ruled out the imposition of precision lockdown on the 11 high-burden council areas identified in the country.

The task force had in the past contemplated the action so as to keep the economy of the country open.

But speaking at Monday’s briefing in Abuja, the PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, said the imposition of the precision lockdown will almost certainly drag entire states into lockdowns.

He said this is because of the geographical nature of the council areas, which he said, makes it impracticable to do isolated lockdown.

Dr Aliyu expressed the PTF’s preparedness to work with the affected council areas through other means of intervention to reduce their high infection load.

He added: “We have 11 high-burden local government areas we’ve identified, we are doing a lot of works in these local government areas, especially as it relates to risk communication and community engagement activities.

“We are also trying to improve testing, particularly in Lagos where seven of the 11 local governments are; we are improving case management, discussing with the various states in terms of improving access to care, access to oxygen and so on.

“Precision lockdowns are only one out of the various options. The main problem we have with lockdowns in these areas is the geographical nature of the local governments.

“For instance, if we were to lockdown those local government areas in Lagos, we’ll have to lock down the entire state. States like Bayelsa, wherein Yenagoa, which is the local government with a high-burden, if we lock Yenagoa down, virtually all the roads across the state have to go through this local government.

“Technically it will be very difficult, we know if the interventions that we proposed are being implemented and people are cooperating, you don’t actually need to lock people down at all.”

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