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JUST IN: Federal Government Extends COVID-19 Lockdown Again

The Federal Government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari has again extended the COVID-19 lockdown ease.

The Federal Government of Nigeria led by President Muhammadu Buhari has again extended the COVID-19 lockdown ease.

HSENations reports that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF), Boss Mustapha on COVID-19 made the announcement during the Task Force briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

Mustapha explained that it is important to ensure that restrictions are not completely relaxed in order to still curtail the spread of COVID-19.

He said assessment has revealed that despite the guidelines, “There is increased non-compliance with non-pharmaceutical prevention measures; lack of enforcement of necessary guidelines issued to preserve lives; insufficient engagement by some states with the national response; lingering concern about the gap between identified cases and the actual burden of disease; apathy, fatigue and disbelief combining to challenge public enlightenment, compliance and behaviour change.”

Mustapha emphasised that lack of compliance to non-pharmaceutical guidelines led to the extension and decision not to completely relax the guidelines.

“To address these challenges and continue to improve our national response to eventually win the fight against the pandemic, the PTF reached the conclusion that for Nigeria, it is important to ensure that restrictions are not completely relaxed in order to control transmission.

“It is also important that at this community transmission phase of the pandemic, sub-national governments step up to take more responsibilities by owning the response.

“To sustain gains already made, therefore, the PTF recommended to the President, the retention of the current phase of the response with minor changes to address economic, socio-political and health concerns.

“It is, however, important to inform you that the major changes being proposed are aimed at achieving the following: Gradual re-opening of international air flights within established parameters; Re-opening of rail transportation within established parameters; Granting permission to exit classes to resume ahead of examinations; Allowing civil servants from Grade Level 12 to resume work and Opening recreational parks for supervised exercises.

“After due consideration of the recommendations, Mr. President approved the following: Maintaining the current phase of the national response to COVID-19 for another four weeks in line with the modifications reflected in the report.

“Partnering with states and local governments to improve community sensitisation and engagement to the COVID-19 response; Mandating state authorities and the FCT to enforce non-pharmaceutical guidelines, primarily the use of face masks in public places.

“Encouraging state governments to collaborate with local government authorities to intensify necessary measures such as contact tracing, grassroots mobilisation and risk communication, and strengthening of collaboration with other mandate groups at federal and state levels to harmonise the country’s COVID-19 response, on the short, medium and long-term basis,” he said.

Mustapha noted that combating COVID-19 is a collective work and urged Nigerians to take responsibility.

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