Ever since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the Nigerian government has believed curfew to be one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the disease. The efficiency of the curfew can be debated, but recently, the government has released new guidelines for Nigerians regarding the curfew, and here is who can move around during the curfew hours.
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1. Curfew in Nigeria
The nationwide curfew in Nigeria was introduced in mid-April, at the same time when the Federal Government announced it was going to gradually ease the lockdown around the country. According to the curfew measures, which was announced in every state, no one except for essential workers could walk outside between 8pm and 6am. To date, the curfew has not been lifted, even though Nigeria has started to lift some other restrictions for its citizens regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
2. Doctor’s strike
The implementation of the curfew was going more or less smoothly for almost a month until doctors and healthcare workers in Lagos embarked on an indefinite strike following the decision of the Federal Government to not recognize them as essential workers. In addition to facing the coronavirus threat every day, Nigerian healthcare workers now faced the penalty of a fine for breaking the curfew requirements.
On May 20, 2020, doctors and healthcare providers in Lagos announced they were going on a strike backed up by the Nigerian Medical Association. According to their statement, it was not safe for the doctors and healthcare workers to continue providing their services in this uncertain curfew situation and they would remain at home starting from 6pm May 20. Understanding the dangers of having medical professionals protesting from home in the midst of the pandemic, the Federal Government finally included doctors and healthcare workers on the list of essential workers who could be outside during the curfew hours.
3. Full list of essential workers
So why exactly can move around from 8pm to 6am when all other Nigerian citizens are confined to their homes due to the curfew? The list of essential workers in Nigeria is not very long, but it gives thousands of people an opportunity to do their jobs without the fear of being penalized for breaking the curfew rules. Here are the people who can move around during the curfew hours:
- Doctors and healthcare workers;
- Ambulance drivers and doctors;
- Other personnel deemed essential for tackling the COVID-19.
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