By Olarewaju Kola
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday announced a lockdown of major cities worst hit by the novel coronavirus.
Addressing the nation, Buhari ordered a ban on social and economic activities and gatherings of people in the capital Abuja, the commercial hub Lagos, Ogun state and surrounding cities to stem the spread of the virus.
"I am directing the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, for an initial period of 14 days with effect from 11 p.m. [2000GMT] on Monday, 30th March 2020.
"This restriction will also apply to Ogun State due to its close proximity to Lagos and heavy traffic between the two states," he said.
The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the country has risen to 111, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced late Sunday in an update on its website.
"On the 29th of March 2020, fourteen (14) new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Nigeria," it announced, referring to the official name of the coronavirus.
Two senior government officials are among the newly reported cases, local media reported.
The novel coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China in December. There are currently more than 718,000 cases worldwide and over 33,800 reported deaths while over 149,000 people have recovered, according to U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Despite the severity of the virus, most people experience mild symptoms and recover.