Lagos deserted as lockdown kicks in

Lagos was deserted after Nigeria locked down its economic hub and shuttered its capital Abuja.

File: Africa's most populous nation is holding scaled-down celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic to commemorate six decades since it gained self-rule from Britain in 1960. 

AFP/Pierre Favennec

LAGOS - Roads in Africa's largest city Lagos were deserted on Tuesday after Nigeria locked down its economic hub and shuttered its capital, in the continent's latest effort to break the juggernaut of coronavirus. 

Businesses were closed, markets abandoned and streets empty as the usually chaotic megacity of 20 million, along with the capital Abuja, shuddered to a halt on the first full day of a two-week shutdown.

READ: Nigerians brace for lockdown as Africa tries to halt virus

Police in protective equipment manned checkpoints, trucks carrying non-essential items were turned back and youths were spotted playing football on a usually traffic-clogged highway.  

"It is like putting people in prison," minibus taxi driver Mutiu Adisa told AFP.

READ: Nigerian Army prepares for coronavirus lockdown, mass burials: report

"I don't know how people can survive for two weeks without working to make money." 

Nigeria embarked late on Monday on one of Africa's most ambitious efforts at social distancing after recording 135 confirmed cases and two deaths


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