President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension of the second phase of the eased lockdown for another four weeks.
This extension is the third for the second phase of lockdown currently observed across the country.
Speaking during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF), on the novel Coronavirus disease otherwise referred to as ‘COVID-19’, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, tasked all Nigerians to take responsibility in the fight against the pandemic.
The SGF revealed that the extension was necessitated by observed lack of compliance with prescribed measures, dangers associated with community spread infections and the need to strengthen critical areas of the Response Strategy for effectiveness.
He said that the PTF after meeting with president Buhari recommended the retention of the current phase of the response with minor changes to address economic, socio-political and health concerns.
“Prior to the Sallah break, the PTF informed the nation that the 6th Interim Report and recommendations would be submitted to Mr. President for his consideration and approval.
“I am therefore pleased to inform you that the PTF team met with the President on Wednesday 5th August, 2020 to apprise him of the situation on COVID-19 and the next steps.
“Suffice it to state that the recommendations made to the President have been borne out of diligent evaluation of the situation in Nigeria as well as regional and global experiences”, the SGF said.
According to him, Buhari after due consideration of the recommendations, approved the following:
“Partnering with States and Local Governments to improve community sensitisation and engagement to the COVID-19 response;
“Mandating State authorities and the FCT, to enforce non-pharmaceutical guidelines, primarily the use of face masks in public appearance and places;
“Encouraging State Governments to collaborate with Local Government Authorities to intensify necessary measures such as contact tracing, grassroots mobilisation and risk communication.
“Strengthening of collaboration with other mandate groups at Federal/State levels to harmonise the country’s COVID-19 response, on the short, medium and long-term basis”.
Mustapha further solicited support from all Nigerians in order to win the fight against the pandemic.
“I wish to remind all Nigerians that this fight is for every one and that you must take responsibility.
“Disbelief and skepticism will further complicate our situation and we should not stigmatize anyone infected.
“Our Communities should own the response and educate our citizens”, he added.