The Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank has called on states and local government authorities to localise their lockdown and social distancing strategy as part of measures to halt the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement made available to THISDAY Tuesday, the Chairman, Anap Foundation, Atedo Peterside, said the think tank was recommending this since each location had its unique circumstances and peculiarities.
He said: “We endorse President Muhammadu Buhari’s extension of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as well as his important guidance on the urgent need for the entire nation to embrace social distancing.
“Among other supportive measures, critical attention must be given to providing an enhanced safety net for the poor; beyond what the federal government itself has offered.
“Certainly, our understanding is that the federal government is not stopping other tiers of government, the private sector, nongovernmental organisations, among others from doing more for the poor and needy; for there is a risk in having the latter become increasingly marginalised or uncooperative at this time on account of hunger and other unmet basic needs. The police (and not the army) should also be on guard to nip the risk of looting and violence in the bud because it is the right thing to do.”
He said authorities should ensure that the entire populace had at least two washable masks each, adding that messages about handwashing and other hygiene protocols should be intensified through the various forms of the media.
“Furthermore, while isolated in communities, people can be put to productive work, including distributing health and safety information, sewing masks, gowns, as well as supporting farming and the transportation and distribution of food and other essential needs.
“Other industries can be repurposed to support this, for example, we can repurpose the whole Events Management industry. Clearly huge events with hundreds of guests must remain a thing of the past. Those skills can be re-orientated towards current needs; one of these key needs already mentioned above, is to help the rich cater for the poor and marginalised during this period.”