Federal Government extends lockdown, eases selective restrictions

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    Federal Government briefing on COVID-19

    THE Federal Government has approved the recommendations of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, whose implementation will span the next four weeks from June 2 to June 29, 2020.

    At a briefing Monday, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, disclosed that the Federal Government has also extended the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown across the country by two weeks.

    The PTF Chairman and the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF), had suggested to President Muhammadu Buhari a phased reopening of schools, places of worships and some businesses.

    PTF chairman, Boss Mustapha
    Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha

    According to him, after assessing the impact of the COVID-19, including available data on the public health considerations and resultant economic impacts, the PTF said that “Nigeria would allow science  and data determine her cautious advancement into the second phase of the eased lockdown for a period of four weeks.”

    In the Second Phase of the national response to COVID-19, the application of data would be targeting areas of on-going high transmission of COVID-19 in the country.

    According to Mustapha, “this means mobilization of all resources at State and Local Government levels to create public awareness on COVID-19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities.

    “Sustenance of key non-pharmaceutical interventions that would apply nationwide and include: Ban of gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace.

    “Relaxation of restriction on places of worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by State Governments.

    “Managed access to markets and locations of economic activity to limit the risk of transmission. Ban on inter-state travels except for movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods & essential services;

    “Mandatory use of non-medical face masks in public places; Mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitisers in all public places.

    “Extensive temperature checks in public places; maintaining two meters between people in public places; strengthening infection prevention and control at healthcare facilities.

    “Isolation of vulnerable populations, elderly and those with underlying health conditions; massive information and education campaigns.

    “Deepening of collaborative efforts with community leaders, civil society, faith-based organisations, traditional institutions, etc;

    “Continuous mobilisation of State Governments to take up greater role in the implementation of the guidelines and advisories provided by the PTF.

    “Deepening of collaborative efforts with community leaders, civil society, faith-based organisations, traditional institutions, etc;

    “Continuous mobilisation of State government to take up greater role in the implementation of the guidelines and advisories provided by the PTF.”

    The SGF expressed worry that the global epicenter was showing a shift  “to South America with virtually similar climatic and demographic similarities with Africa. This is a cause for concern when we consider the fact that earlier projections pointed to Africa as likely to be the worst hit continent, by the pandemic.”

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