THE Federal Government has approved a phased reopening of schools and tertiary institutions nationwide as it announced another phase of relaxation of COVID-19 lockdown.
On Monday, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF) Mr. Boss Mustapha, explained the gradual reopening.
He said that only graduating students will resume, in order for to them write their final examinations and graduate, as the current academic year is gradually ending.
All schools – daycare centres, primary, secondary, tertiary – were closed in late March to check the spread of the coronavirus.
The Federal Government also announced that with effect from July 1, permission of movement across state borders will be granted, but only outside curfew hours.
At the briefing, the PTF Chairman said the President approved the the 5th Interim Report of the PTF and approved the Phase II of the eased lockdown be extended by another four weeks with effect from June 30 to July 27.
He said: “Maintaining the current phase of the national response, for another four weeks in line with modifications to be expatiated by the National Coordinator.
“Permission of movement across state borders only outside curfew hours with effect from July 1. Enforcement of laws around non-pharmaceutical interventions by States, in particular, the use of face masks in public places.
“Safe re-opening of schools to allow students in graduating classes resume in-person in preparation for examinations;
“Safe reopening of domestic aviation services as soon as practicable and publication of revised guidelines around the three thematic areas of general movement, industry, labour and community activities.
“Provision of technical support for states to mobilise additional resources for the response.”
Mustapha said it would encourage state governments to empower Local Government Authorities to intensify contact tracing efforts and ensure stronger grassroots mobilisation to support the response.
He added that it would also encourage states and hospital authorities to ensure continuity of other health services to prevent fatalities from other life-threatening conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The chairman said it was necessary to deepen collaboration with other mandate groups at States and Federal levels to harmonise the country’s COVID-19 response in the short, medium and long terms.