The governors of Nigeria’s 36 states have banned inter-state travel for two weeks to curtail the spread of coronavirus.
Their statement says that only essential services will be permitted to move between the states – more than 25 of which have Covid-19 cases.
Africa’s most-populous nation has so far recorded more than 800 coronavirus cases – with new infections confirmed this week in the north-east, where there is an ongoing militant Islamist insurgency.
Three states – the capital, Abuja, the commercial hub of Lagos and Ogun in the south-west – are currently in the fourth week of a lockdown, extended from an initial two weeks.
There are indications that the lockdown might be further extended to include other states as there are fears that Kano in the north could become the new epicentre of infections.
The state has registered 73 cases, but there are concerns the figure could be much higher as testing there was suspended after lab attendants at a testing centre became infected.
Southern states like Rivers and Delta already have curfews and restricted travel while others have banned large gatherings and made the wearing of face masks in public compulsory.
But with all 36 governors now in agreement about the ban on inter-state travel, the country is nearing a full lockdown.
Only President Muhammadu Buhari can announce the restrictions nationwide.
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