In the clearest indication yet that the two-week lockdown imposed on Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on March 29 to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic may be headed for extension, President Muhammadu Buhari, saturday, said the movement restrictions would last as long as necessary, particularly, as he would be relying on experts' advice on the issue.
A statement by Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity to the President, Malam Garba Shehu, just 24 hours to the end of the initial 14-day lockdown, appealed to Nigerians to remain at home in the interest of the entire country.
Buhari said there was no cure for COVID-19 yet, and complying with the instruction to stay at home was necessary to avoid dire consequences.
"The freedoms we ask you to willingly forsake today will only last as long as our scientific advisers declare they are necessary. But they are essential - world over - to halt and defeat the spread of this virus," the president said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria recorded 13 new cases of COVID-19, bringing to 318 the total number of confirmed cases in the country with 70 discharged.
Announcing this on Saturday, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said Lagos recorded 11 new cases, while Kano and Delta states recorded one each.
A breakdown of the figures showed that Lagos had 174 cases, FCT had 56, Osun 20, Edo 12, Oyo 11, Ogun seven, Bauchi and Kaduna six each, Akwa Ibom five, Katsina four, Delta three, Enugu, Ekiti, Rivers, Kwara and Ondo two each, while Benue, Niger, Anambra and Kano had one each.
Abuja and Lagos State, yesterday, announced that they had discharged four new COVID-19 patients, respectively, while Kano recorded its index case of the deadly virus.
However, religious leaders in many parts of the country were said to have mounted pressure on state governments to relax the lockdown orders.