- Says all passenger flights remain under ban
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) Wednesday unveiled sector-specific guidelines for the gradual reopening of the economy which will span a total of 6 weeks broken into 3 tranches of 2 weeks each.
The phased strategy is designed to reduce the pains of socio-economic disruptions while strengthening our public health response, which would ultimately reduce the recovery of our economy and provide succour to the poor and vulnerable.
But the task force said all passenger flights remain under ban while mandatory supervised isolation of persons arriving from outside the country for at least 14 days must be enforced.
Chairman of PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who disclosed this at the daily press briefing by the task force, said that the management of various offices, premises and businesses that will be gradually re-opened are mandated to ensure that the fumigation and decontamination of their offices, arrangement made for physical distancing, provision of hand sanitizers and handwashing facilities, application of the policy on mandatory use of face masks and provision of thermometers for temperature checks.
He observed that consideration must be given to persons living with disabilities while making all these arrangements while an increased communication with staff on COVID-19 and measures put in place as well as any other measure that may be peculiar for the organisations and/or sector.
Mustapha stated that mass gathering of more than 20 people outside of a workplace is strictly prohibited just as controlled access to neighbourhood markets and locations of economic activities will be enforced with mandatory temperature checks conducted in public places.
Mustapha said: “Social distancing of 2 metres to be maintained between people in workplaces and other public places. To underscore the collaborative efforts with Sub-National levels of Government, they are encouraged to provide leadership in engaging relevant associations responsible for various sectors e.g market associations and transport unions for orderly and effective implementation. Similarly, I want to emphasise the need for the security agencies to strictly enforce these new measures that have been put in place”.
The SGF noted that the easing of restrictions and introduction of revised measures do not amount to the end of this battle against COVID-19 but signifies the need for more vigilance and stringent compliance so that we are not lulled into complacence capable of diminishing the progress we have made so far.
He explained that the overnight curfew, ban on inter-state travels and related matters are effective nationwide.
The curfew starts daily from 8.00 pm to 06.00 am, effective from Monday, 4th of May, 2020. Mustapha added that inter-state travels are banned except for the movement of goods, agro-products, petroleum products, essential services among others such as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The SGF urged state governments in collaboration with security agencies and relevant trade associations to ensure that these measures are strictly enforced.
He also said that the technical team of public health experts sent to Kano State by the PTF has begun the evaluation of the situation in the state, working in collaboration with the state’s team.
“I am pleased to also inform you that the operationalisation of the laboratories in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Bayero University Kano, will considerably improve our response to the pandemic in Kano State. Additionally, fifty trucks of assorted grains have been sent to Kano and due for delivery within the next 48 hours. The PTF appreciates the cooperation of the Governor and the medical team in Kano State.”
“We must encourage our local scientists and deepen our capacity for research. There is a huge role for all relevant Research Institutes to play at this time. The Federal Ministry of Health is coordinating the process in conjunction with the National Institute for Medical Research and the Nigerian Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development.
“We have received information on domestic and international claims about emerging inventions on COVID-19. These are most welcome but scientific validation process and protocols will have to be followed. We are open to all options for the good of humanity.”