By Adedapo Adesanya
The Federal Government on Monday extended the recent order by President Muhammadu Buhari on gradual easing of lockdown for another two weeks.
Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, disclosed this at the daily briefing of the task force in Abuja today.
The President had last month announced a phased and gradual easing of the lockdown in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun states, while declaring a nationwide curfew with effect from May 4.
At the briefing this evening, Mr Mustapha stressed that Nigeria was not yet ready for full opening of the economy and tough decisions have to be taken for the good of the greater majority.
“Any relaxation will only portend grave danger for our populace.
“Advisedly, the current phase of eased restriction will be maintained for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued.
“The two weeks extension of Phase One of the eased restriction is also to enable other segments of the economy to prepare adequately for compliance with the guidelines, preparatory to reopening in the coming weeks,” he declared.
Speaking further, the SGF stated that President Buhari has approved the following:
(i) 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);
“(ii) intensifying efforts to ‘tell (communicate), trace (identify) and treat (manage)’ cases;
“(iii) elevating the level of community ownership of non-pharmaceutical interventions;
“(iv) Maintain the existing lockdown order in Kano for an additional two weeks;
“(v) 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
“(vi) 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.”
As at press time, official Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) data showed that there are 5,959 cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, out of which 1594 have been discharged with 182 deaths recorded.
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