The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has extended the current phase of eased restriction for another two weeks, stressing that stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued.
Chairman of the PTF, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, who announced the extension of the restriction, explained that the reality is that in spite of the modest progress made, Nigeria is not yet ready for full opening of the economy.
Mustapha therefore said that tough decisions have to be taken for the good of the greater majority, stressing that any relaxation will only portend grave danger for the populace.
The PTF said that the two weeks extension of Phase one of the eased restriction is also to enable other segments of the economy prepare adequately for compliance with the guidelines, preparatory to reopening in the coming weeks.
He said the PTF share the pains adding that the future of Nigerians is in the hands of every Nigerian and future decisions will depend greatly on the people’s compliance.
According to Mustapha; “Based on the recommendations of the PTF, Mr. President has approved the following: “The measures, exemptions, advisories and scope of entities allowed to reopen under phase one of the eased locked down, shall be maintained across the federation for another two weeks effective from 12 00 midnight today (18th May, 2020 to 1st June, 2020);
Intensifying efforts to “tell (communicate), trace (identify) and treat (manage)’ cases; elevating the level of community ownership of non-pharmaceutical interventions; Maintain the existing lockdown order in Kano for an additional two weeks;
“Imposition of precision lockdown in states, or in metropolitan/high-burden LGAs, that are reporting a rapidly increasing number of cases, when the need arises. This would be complemented with the provision of palliatives and continued re-evaluation of the impact of the interventions; and Aggressive scale up of efforts to ensure that communities are informed, engaged and participating in the response with enhanced public awareness in high risk states.”
The PTF Chairman further said that specific implementation guidelines would be communicated by the National Coordinator and would be circulated through the conventional and social media.
Mustapha said that for sustainability of the gains recorded, the PTF shall continue to support states by developing guidelines to shape decision-making for future steps in the response and aggressively scale up efforts to ensure effective community information.
In his words; “It is believed that these steps will help consolidate the gains made so far, and position the country to effectively overcome the pandemic.
“In the interest of our nation, the role of the States and Local Governments remain critical to success. The PTF shall engage with the States on the effective implementation of these guidelines.
“This morning, I participated in a virtual conference between the President and the Nigeria Governors Forum and the subject of collaboration was robustly discussed.
“As contained in the address of Mr. President on 27th April, 202, State Governors are reminded to align their state specific measures with the guidelines issued by the Presidential Task Force,” he said.