COVID-19: FG threatens to review partial lockdown measures - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

COVID-19: FG threatens to review partial lockdown measures

Share This
By Our Correspondent

…Expresses concern over breach of ban on inter-state travels

…Urges state govts to embark on wider community testing

…Cautions against reopening of schools, television-viewing centres, sports stadia

Following the continued violation of the guidelines as part of measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic otherwise referred to as COVID-19, the Federal Government has threatened to review the partial lockdown measures currently in place.


This threat, according to the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, was informed by an escalation of the level of non-compliance with simple measure to keep social distancing, wearing of masks in public places, sanitation and hygiene.

Speaking during the national briefing of the PTF in Abuja on Monday, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the PTF was worried that over the last couple of days, the daily figures of confirmed COVID-19 cases were on the rise.

While advising Nigerians to ensure strict compliance with PTF guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19, Mustapha warned that all relaxed measures are still subject to review.

‘’In the course of our monitoring and surveillance of compliance across the nation, we have observed an escalation of the level of non-compliance with simple measures to keep social distancing, wearing of masks in public places, sanitation and hygiene.

‘’This is more prevalent in markets, motor parks and some places of worship. I wish to remind you that the PTF has already issued guidelines for mode of operations at places of worship and urge state Governments to ensure strict compliance with PTF guidelines.

‘’We wish to re-emphasise the warning that all relaxed measures are still subject to review and advisories issued are for personal and public safety purposes. The breach of the ban on inter-state travels is also a point of concern’’, he said.

He further appealed to state governments to embark on wider community testing, enforce rules.

‘’The PTF appeals to State governments to embark on wider community testing, enforce rules on social distancing, step up community engagement and risk communication and pay attention to places of large gatherings. We also appeal to the security agencies to enforce the ban on inter-state travels very strictly.

‘’We have received reports that some states are contemplating the reopening of schools, television viewing centres, sports stadia and other places where large gatherings could take place.

The PTF re-emphasises that it is not yet safe to do so and that utmost caution should be exercised. The PTF guideline should still be complied with while considering decisions of this nature’’, he added.

The SGF, who also disclosed that the evacuation of Nigerians stranded abroad has resumed, added that about two hundred and sixty-nine from persons from India over the weekend.

‘’In line with the revised protocols, the evacuation of Nigerians stranded abroad has resumed. Over the last weekend, we received two hundred and sixty-nine from India while another one-hundred and two arrived from Egypt. All the evacuees tested negative before boarding the plane and would be re-tested within 72-hours of arrival in Nigeria.

‘’Last week, the Economic Sustainability Committee led by His Excellency the Vice President, submitted their report to Mr. President on how to address the post-COVID era. This underscores the plan that the Federal Government will continue to implement measures meant to safeguard the economy.

The PTF will continue to be guided by the recommendations of the Committee in taking some of its far-reaching decisions, as was done on previous occasions.

On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said that the ministry is collaborating with states to strengthen their response according to needs.

According to him, its response in tracing, testing and case management is driven by data and evidence.

‘’Our response in tracing, testing and case management is driven by data and evidence and we adjust our protocols for Quarantine and treatment accordingly. We are collaborating with states to strengthen their response according to needs.

‘’An arrangement has been reached to send a collaborative team to Cross River State in the coming days to complement the work of the state government.

It will be led by the Executive director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal, to engage in a technical handshake with the State EOC. Representatives from all relevant Departments will be included.

‘’Efforts are on to increase the number of laboratories with priority given to states which do not have a laboratory with PCR capability, including Cross River and Kogi States’’, he added.