Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has appealed to Muslims across the country to observe the end of Ramadan eid celebration in their homes.
The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, made the appeal on Tuesday at the bational briefing of the committee.
“The EID celebration is an important milestone that we urge our Muslim brothers and sisters to observe in the safety of their homes,” he said.
The PTF coordinator also reiterated the call for banks, offices, malls to start providing temperature check and sanitisers at their entrances as well as provide convenient sitting allowance that will give room for physical distancing.
Aliyu said, “The PTF would continue to work with states to align with national guidelines, adding that state governments are still allowed to take decisions in regards to their local settings. We will continue to promote ownership of this response at state level.
“We must remember that we are still in the pandemic where community transmission is becoming quite entrenched. We need to be aware as we move on to further relaxation, this does not mean the risk has gone away.
“We have to make sure that whatever decision we make, we do not drag ourselves back to the beginning of the pandemic. We haven’t safely reach a stage where we can say.”
According to him, the two weeks extension of the gradual easing of lockdown is to reinforce our containment measures against the coronavirus and that this is now the time to intensify efforts by always wearing a mask outside of homes and also staying at home as much as possible.
He said, “I cannot emphasize enough that community transmission is intensifying and how we implement the safety advisories provided will determine how fast we can come out of this pandemic.
“The existing easing of the lockdown guidelines remain largely the same for the two week extension; no interstate travels except for the transportation of essential services; no passenger flights; all churches, mosques, schools, clubs, bars, parks, sporting and gaming centers must remain closed.”
He said Nigerians should continue to maintain a physical distance of two meters at all times; no mass gatherings; and that government offices are to open Monday, Wednesday, Friday between 8am-2pm.
He also said that government staff of grade-level 14-17 are expected to be in their offices at the stipulated time and days, while neighborhood market are to open three times a week between 8am-3pm for each day.
Speaking on alignment with state government on the lockdown, Aliyu said the PTF is closely aligned with the Nigeria Governors Forum.
“We will continue to work with state security agencies and Task Forces to ensure the implementation of guidelines for phase 2. We encourage state agencies to intensify efforts at hotspots areas.
“The Task Force urges state governments and religious leaders to please continue to work with us to ensure people remain at home and not expose themselves to the virus by going to mosques or gathering in homes. If not, we are sure to see more infections, more health workers at risk and certainly more deaths,” the PTF coordinator added.