Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the reopening of schools, resumption of domestic flights, allow interstate travels so far it is not outside curfew time.
Chairman of the Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, announced this Monday’s briefing of the PTF.
He said this follows after President Muhammadu Buhari considered and approved the 5th Interim Report of the PTF, with the exception of some modifications to be expatiated upon later.
He said in the Report the PTF specifically reviewed the issues around the general level of compliance with prescribed measures while taking note of the following: ‘Implications of the lack of general compliance with measures; the global and domestic developments especially in the area of rising statistics; and the continued restrictions in the education and transportation sectors as well as for activities that attract mass gatherings such as operations of markets, worship centres and entertainment.
‘In doing the foregoing, the PTF considered the need for the continuation of the policy of striking the delicate balance between lives and livelihood as well as inputs received from different stakeholder groups.’
Mustapha added that:
‘The Phase Two of the eased lockdown be extended by another four weeks with effect from Tuesday, June 30, 2020, through Midnight of Monday, 27 July 2020.
“Specifically, however, the following measures shall either remain in place or come into effect:
‘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 1st July, 2020;
‘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;
‘Publication of revised guidelines around the three thematic areas of general movement, industry and labour; and community activities;
‘Provision of technical support for states to mobilise additional resources for the response;
‘Strengthening partnerships with States, Local Governments, traditional rulers, community/religious leaders and civil society to ensure increased public awareness and compliance with preventive guidelines;
‘Encouraging State governments to empower Local Government Authorities to intensify contact tracing efforts and ensure stronger grassroots mobilisation to support the response;
‘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; and
‘Deepening of collaboration with other mandate groups at States/Federal levels to harmonise the country’s COVID-19 response in the short, medium and long terms.
‘The National Coordinator will in due course announce and publish the details of the revised guidelines while relevant MDAs including Education, Transportation and Aviation will respectively consult further with stakeholders and issue guidelines for their sectors.’