By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic has explained why it might not be imposing precision lockdowns on the 11 high-burden council areas of the country.
National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, who gave the explanation during Monday’s media briefing by the task force in Abuja said locking the said council areas down would most certainly pull the entire states where such council areas belong to into lockdown with them.
Noting that the geographical natures of the council areas make it rather impracticable to do isolated lockdown with them, Aliyu however added that precision lockdowns are just one out of many types of interventions that could be used to manage cases in the said council areas.
According to him, the PTF was already working with the affected council areas through other means of intervention to reduce their high infection load, citing risk communication and community engagement activities as part of the ongoing works.
“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 among 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 lockdown the entire state. States like Bayelsa, where in Yenagoa, which is the local government with the 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,” he said.
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