Covid-19 City updates

Fifth set of listings of Covid-19 reports relating to public transport from our research teams in Teams in Tunis, Abuja and Cape Town (9th May to 22 May 2020


Current cases (22.5.2020): 7016

Current deaths (22.5.2020): 211

Government initiatives

21.5.2020: The federal government appeals to traders not to increase food prices and transportation, and appealed to the union for transport workers (NURTW) to ensure that guidelines are followed.

17.5.2020: Nigeria impounded a plane operated by a British company for allegedly contravening a flight ban imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

15.5.2020: The ban on interstate travel remains. Nigerians still have to wear facemasks in public places. The Nigerian Travel Agency (NANTA) reports that the travel agency has lost more than 180 billion naira, and thousands of jobs. The e-hailing services have also been hardly hit. Bolt for instance only does deliveries whereas uber has halted its operations.

10.5.2020: 160 Nigerians were evacuated from the United States and landed in Abuja


20.5.2020: An article on the nationallight homepage (below) suggests that people in the transport sector will undergo economic hardship due to the interstate ban. Cargo employees have complained that some of their goods have gone bad.  Some travellers have been arrested for hiding in trucks

17.5.2020:  An article published on Naira metrics suggests that the airline industry in Nigeria will undergo many changes (e.g. in terms of travel destinations, social distancing and technology use), and many jobs will be lost in the aviation industry – and taken over by technology.


Fourth set of listings of Covid-19 reports relating to public transport from our research teams in Tunis, Abuja and Cape Town (25 April-8 May 2020)

PLEASE NOTE: This document contains only provisional information for each country, based on the information that our in-country teams have been able to access.  We hope to provide updates of this information approximately at fortnightly intervals. Please click on the numbers at the bottom of the page to view the info concerning Cape Town and Tunis.


Cases 8.5.2020: 3526. Deaths 107

Government requirements:

7.5.2020. The ban on flights has been extended for four weeks.

4.5.2020. The lockdown has been eased and people are going back to work. The president has said that the lockdown has come at a heavy cost, and people have lost their livelihoods. Shops and markets will remain open until mid-afternoon, but schools and places of worship will not be open. Shops and markets will now open until mid-afternoon and it is hoped that some people will be able to return to work.

But a ban on public gatherings remains in place and a nationwide curfew from 20:00 local time (19:00GMT) to 06:00 has been imposed. Schools and places of worship will remain closed.

Wearing of face masks while in public has been made mandatory and people must adhere to social distancing rule and other safety measures. Interstate travels has been suspended except for essential workers.

  1. Shops and markets will now open until mid-afternoon and it is hoped that some people will be able to return to work.

People must adhere to social distancing rule and other safety measures. Interstate travels has been suspended except for essential workers.

Travel between regions will, however, not be permitted despite the easing of the restrictions. There is a curfew between 20:00 and 06:00. In public spaces people must wear face masks, there must be mandatory temperature checks, hand washing facilities/or hand sanitizers, physical distancing of two meters. No sport and mass gatherings. Passenger flights and interstate travel (except essential) are prohibited. Nigerians abroad who are travelling to Nigeria must isolate for 14 days. Neighbourhoods and markets can stay open 3 times a week from 8 am to 3 pm. Banks and financial services can stay open from 8 to 2 pm. Government offices and corporate offices can stay open from 8 am-2 pm. Schools, churches, mosques, clubs, bars and gardens are still closed.

29.4.2020. The president encourages state governments to provide leadership and engage with relevant associations, e.g. transport associations for orderly and effective implementation of the lockdown.


4.5.2020. Newspaper reports suggest that the infection rates went up, as soon as the curfew was eased. See links below.


Third set of listings of Covid-19 reports relating to public transport from our research teams in Tunis, Abuja and Cape Town [information dating from the 10 to 24 April 2020. Draft. Click on numbers below to view all cities.

Abuja, Nigeria

Current cases: 981.

31 deaths (data 24.4.2020)

Government initiatives

14 April: The federal ministry of humanitarian affairs has said that N power beneficiaries in Nigeria should expect their monthly payments of 30.000 Naira. The N-power programme is a job creation and skills empowerment programme that supports young Nigerians in the whole country to develop skills to become practical solution providers for a period of two years.

7 April. Poor households (only selected) are expected to receive N20.000 monthly. The federal government has clarified how the N20,000 coronavirus lockdown palliative is being distributed.

Lockdown: matters arising

24 April  Our in-country team members report that the distribution of money has caused tension as some households are selected as poor and others not with many people queuing up for the N20.000 Naira mentioned above, but not receiving the full amount. Moreover, the event was filmed on national television and social distancing did not take place, possibly contributing to more infections. Corruption and politics might influence who gets helped and not, and whether vehicle owners, who have their vehicles in police custody, will get their vehicles back. It is easier to families who are wealthy to isolate at home, but people living in the suburbs, the focus of our research, are particularly at risk, especially women, transport workers, petty traders and even security officials. In the suburbs of Abuja roads around markets and parks are packed with petty traders, pushing their ways through the crows as well as motorized vehicles (motorbike riders, lorries and taxi drivers). They are trying to sustain a living, as they cannot afford to stock up on food, and stay at home.

23 April

Our team members report that the transport of food and other household good supplies is becoming more difficult due to covid-19, even though the transport of goods is allowed. This is due to bribes (security officials), and people cannot afford to pay for this at each checkpoint. Vegetables are getting rotten, and they have no place to store them. It is also more difficult to transport livestock. Children are being transported back and forth between their families (e.g. when a husband/wife lives in another state) despite the lockdown in Abuja. There is also an increased rate of domestic violence, due to more family members living together where they used to live apart.  Transport is becoming more and more expensive, as tricycles for example can only take one person at a time. A bus is only allowed 60% of its capacity. Women who cannot push their way are left stranded. Women are complaining that they used to be able to go together. Having ownership of a vehicle is better. Bus drivers and other forms of transport are still travelling on the roads in Abuja, but with fewer passengers, often dropping people outside state boundaries, as they know they cannot cross these areas. This leaves travelers stranded and women particularly vulnerable.

13 April. A taxi driver strips naked in protest to the lockdown explaining that he cannot feed his family.

4 April. The FCT task team impounds 51 cars, 9 tricycle and 46 motorcycles for violating the lockdown order, and will be in police custody until after the lockdown.


Second set of listings of COVID-19 reports relating to public transport from our research teams in Tunis, Abuja and Cape Town [i.e. information dating from 1 to 9th April 2020]. DRAFT


Cases 288. Deaths 7 (10.4.2020).

Government implementations

3.4. 2020. Any inter-state travel has been banned. All business except healthcare, food processor/ delivery, petroleum distributors, power companies and private security companies have been closed. Banks are temporarily shut for 14 days, including public transport. Open markets are shut but food shops, supermarkets and pharmacies can stay open. International airports and land borders have been closed, and cargo ships can enter, if they have been at sea for more than 14 days, and have no confirmed cases. The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has permitted the movement of fertilizers during the lockdown. A prominent legal practitioner, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to unlock Lagos and Abuja to ease the burden for people since Lagos state has declared a 100% recovery rate.

1.4. 2020. The Federal Government directed that food markets in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) would be allowed to open daily for four hours, from 10:00a.m. to 2:00p.m., Every person would be confined to his or her place of residence unless strictly for the purpose of performing an essential service. Commuter services between cities and states including passenger rail services, bus services, e-hailing services, maritime and air passenger transport are suspended for the period of the lockdown in the affected states. All borders linking the two states and FCT to the rest of the country would be shut during the period of the lockdown, except for the transportation of persons on essential duties, food, fuel, manufactured goods or donated relief items. Mass gatherings are prohibited, except for funeral services. Movement between and within the affected states and FCT is restricted except for workers involved in the delivery of authorized essential services, duties, food and goods. Commuter services between cities and states including, passenger rail services, bus services, e-hailing services, maritime and air passenger transport are suspended for the period of the lockdown in the affected states. Limited transport services are allowed for the movement of workers, services and goods in response to COVID-19 and for the purpose of seeking medical attention or provision of essential services. The essential services and businesses include clinics, hospitals, food shops, fuel stations, registered repair garages, company car services for essential staff, private security companies, trucks carrying essential items, courier and distribution companies and airlines handling essential staff.

Transport associations/other

1.4.2020. Uber suspends its services in Abuja for 14 days

31.3.2020. Our in-country team members report that there are more cases of domestic abuse in the country due to people staying at home. Hawkers and other people in vulnerable jobs (e.g. working for others from hand to mouth), moreover, risk starving. They have no income, and no money to buy/stockpile food.

6.3.2020. Spare part dealers worry since their sales are affected when no people are travelling to China.Useful links

FG opens food markets for four hours daily in Lagos, Ogun, Abuja

Covid-19 and transport in Nigeria report 1. 3.-30.3.2020

30.3.2020. The Nigerian president announced that the country will go into lockdown at 11 pm on the 30.3.2020 for a period of 14 days. Nigeria has 111 confirmed cases of the COVID-19, with 3 recovery and one death.

28.3.2020. Update from Nigerian team member: There is restriction of movement within cities, with civil servants required to conduct government affairs from home. The only sectors permitted to move in cities are health and security. Markets remain generally open. This means transport business in peri-urban is active. Federal and state governments have imposed an inter-state and inter-town travel ban.

26. 3. 2020. All schools were closed (primary, secondary and tertiary).

21.3. 2020. The government has restricted entry into Nigeria for people travelling from China, Italy, Iran, Norway, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the USA, the UK, Netherlands and Switzerland. This will last 4 weeks. No visas on arrival from these countries will be granted.

21.3. 2020. The in-country fieldwork has been put to a halt due to COVID-19.

1.3.2020. Screening measures have been heightened in airports (Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and FCT (Abuja). This includes a temperature screen and a form to fill in upon on arrival regarding symptoms and travel history. Even though travellers do not have symptoms, all travellers from any country have to self-isolate for 14 days when entering Nigeria.

Lassa fever, which is deadlier than COVID-19, might also influence the travel situation in the future.

Useful links:

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