Health and Safety Politics

FG extends gradual easing of lockdown by 2 weeks

FG extends gradual easing of lockdown by 2 weeks
Written by Maritime First

…Making Inter-State drivers sad!***

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha indicated Monday that the Federal Government has extended the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown across the country by two additional weeks.

The extension however got several Nigerians who thought restrictions would be lifted by Monday disappointed, particularly those on inter-state business transactions being more seriously affected.

Boss Mustapha who also doubles as the Secretary of the Government of the Federation (SGF) stated this during the COVID-19 daily briefing in Abuja.

The SGF said that the global epicenter of the pandemic has shifted from China to Europe to the U.S. and was now showing a shift to South and Central America.

“This shift to South America with virtually similar climatic and demographic similarities with Africa, is a cause for concern when we consider the fact that earlier projections pointed to Africa as likely to be the worst hit continent, by the pandemic.

“As at midnight on Sunday, May 31, 2020, Nigeria recorded 10,162 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 3,007 discharges and 287 deaths. Significantly, Nigeria recorded 553 new cases on Saturday, May 30, 2020 representing the highest single-day numbers, ever,” he said.

According to him, Based on the overall assessment, including available data on the public health considerations and resultant economic impacts, the PTF is of the opinion that.

“Nigeria is ready to allow SCIENCE and DATA to determine her cautious advancement into the second phase of the eased lockdown for a period of four weeks.

“After considering all factors mentioned above, the PTF submitted its recommendations and President  Mohammadu Buhari has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning June 2 to June 29, 2020, subject to review,” he noted.

Also read: COVID-19: Olubadan bans masqueraders’, orders ‘stay at home’ rituals

Mustapha gave cautious advance into the Second Phase of the national response to COVID-19; Application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of on-going high transmission of COVID-19 in the country.

“This means mobilization of all resources at State and Local Government levels to create public awareness on COVID 19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities.

“Sustenance of key non-pharmaceutical interventions that would apply nationwide and include:

“Ban of gatherings of more than 20 people outside of a workplace.

“Relaxation of restriction on places of Worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and Protocols agreed by State Governments

“Managed access to markets and locations of economic activity to limit the risk of transmission. Ban on inter-state travels except for movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods & essential services;

“Mandatory use of non-medical face masks in public places;  Mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitisers in all public places.

“Extensive temperature checks in public places; Maintaining 2 metres between people in public places;  Strengthening infection prevention and control at healthcare facilities.

“Isolation of vulnerable populations “elderly and those with underlying health conditions” Massive information and education campaigns.

“Deepening of collaborative efforts with community leaders, civil society, faith-based organisations, traditional institutions, etc;

“Continuous mobilisation of State Govts to take up a greater role in the implementation of the guidelines and advisories provided by the PTF.

“Deepening of collaborative efforts with community leaders, civil society, faith-based organisations, traditional institutions, etc;

“Continuous mobilisation of State government to take up greater role in the implementation of the guidelines and advisories provided by the PTF,” he stated.

A driver in Ibadan who spoke with the Maritime First at the Lagos Park in Iwo Road expressed grave concern that the interState restrictions were still in place.

“These people (government) are just behaving as if we are all in IDP camps! Is this the way we are going to live the next two weeks again?

“If passengers don’t pay as high as N3,500 per trip, you can’t break even, going by the nature of bribes we pay. How do you get passengers who would pay that kind of money, if his mother was not sick and he is hurrying home to meet her alive?

“Everybody should help us tell the Government, Nigerians are hungry. We are not interested in Palliatives. We want to work and feed our families. Imagine, sending everybody into hunger over acute malaria… and calling it COVID-19, just to frighten everybody!”, he quipped, speaking on conditions of anonymity.

Two other drivers spoke almost exactly in the same manner.

 

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Maritime First