Locking down Nigeria not helping fight against COVID-19, says Ayade



Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade has urged the federal government to discontinue with the policy of shutting down the country in its effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

Ayade who spoke to newsmen Monday at the Cross River state Rice Seeds and Seedlings factory, Calabar during the official commencement of deployment of agricultural machines to various parts of the state, said a complete lockdown of Nigeria has been counter productive.

He therefore, “pleads with the federal government not to shut down this country. The healthy people cannot be locked down. It is the sick that should be identified and isolated and locked down. You do not lock down a healthy citizen, a healthy individual who falls within an area where there is no reported case or confirmed case.

"The sick has to be shut down for the healthy to work, and by the sick I mean those who have confirmed cases, those who fall Within the tracing line, those who fall within the suspicion line. They have to be locked down for the healthy to work. But locking down the sick and the healthy together only creates an expansion climate for the virus. In some cases the lockdown creates a more clustered and difficult and accumulated residence like people who live in squatter camps. When you lock them down it expands and increases the chance of contamination,” he said.

Continuing, the governor said: "If everyone goes out with a nose mask and is busy in the day and returns, tired he goes to his bed to sleep. But the idea of locking down ebullient young people with so much energy boiling out, it is never going to work.
“It's not going to work for the economy, it's not going to work for the people it's not going to help in controlling the virus.

While urging the Federal Government to slacken some of its restrictions including flights, he said the pandemic offers Africa the opportunity to catch up the rest of the world.

He regrets that the continent has failed to grasp the chance.

“This is the opportunity for Africa to play catch up instead of adopting what is happening in Europe because it can never be exactly the same in our circumstance. Our demographics are not the same, we have a lot of young people with very strong immune system.
“That is why I insist we should just wear nose mask and loosen up the country. Let the airlines start working. Just insist that nobody gets into an airplane to fly without a nose mask.”
He insisted that a general use of the nose mask will flatten the curve in no time.

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