Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, announced a one-month lockdown to limit the spread of the coronavirus, banning all international flights and shutting land borders.
Authorities are advising residents of the commercial hub, Lagos, and the capital, Abuja, to stay indoors and avoid any “non-essential outings,” government secretary Boss Mustapha said in a statement. Lagos is one of Africa’s biggest cities, with about 20 million people.
The government has also suspended its weekly cabinet meetings as well as a meeting of state governors scheduled Thursday, Mustapha said.
Court hearings are being suspended for two weeks from March 24, according to the judicial council in a separate statement. Nigeria has 36 confirmed cases of the virus.
Meanwhile Rwanda has become the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to order a total shutdown because of the coronavirus.
The tiny central African country has confirmed 17 cases of the COVID-19 virus.
All unnecessary movements outside the home have been banned for an initial two weeks except for essential services such as health care and shopping for groceries.
Both public and private workers have also been ordered to work from home to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Rwanda also closed its borders completely, except for goods and cargo and returning citizens.
However, they have to be quarantined for two weeks.
A section of Rwandans has welcomed the measures, but in a country where many survive from hand to mouth, uncertainty looms.
And there are no possible bailouts from the central government to support small and medium enterprises, despite the unforeseeable future.
Meanwhile, authorities have warned business owners not to increase prices of basic commodities.
Before the shutdown, public gatherings like places of worship had been banned, and those who defied the orders were arrested, according to media reports.
Mountain gorillas are prone to some respiratory illnesses that afflict humans.
Source: Boomberg / DW