…Approves ‘safe reopening of schools’.
…Says Primary schools, day care centres to remain closed
…Okays resumption of domestic flights
…Moves to lock down 18 LGAs with highest number of COVID-19 cases
After about a month ban on interstate travels imposed to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic otherwise referred to as COVID-19, the Federal Government, on Monday, announced the partial lifting of the ban on interstate movements.
This is just as the government announced the extension of the phase two of the eased lockdown by four weeks.
Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce PTF on Covid-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF,) Mr. Boss Mustapha, who disclosed these at the resumed briefings of the PTF, said that within this extended phase, there will also be a safe re-opening of schools to allow graduating students back to classes.
He said that interstate movements would only take place outside curfew hours.
According to the SGF, students in primary six, Junior Secondary School 3 and Senior Secondary School 3 will be allowed to return to school.
He said that the reopening of schools was meant to allow graduating classes resume to prepare for examinations.
The latest developments were contained in the task force’s fifth interim submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.
He said: “I am pleased to inform you that Mr. President has carefully considered the 5th Interim Report of the PTF and has accordingly approved that, with the exception of some modifications to be expatiated upon later, the Phase Two of the eased lockdown be extended by another four weeks with effect from Tuesday, June 30, 2020 through Midnight of Monday, 27 July, 2020.
”Specifically, however, the following measures shall either remain in place or come into effect:
“Maintaining the current phase of the national response, for another four weeks in line with modifications to be expatiated by the National Coordinator;
“Permission of movement across State borders only outside curfew hours with effect from 1st July, 2020;
“Enforcement of laws around non-pharmaceutical interventions by States, in particular, the use of face masks in public places;
“Safe re-opening of schools to allow students in graduating classes resume in-person in preparation for examinations”.
“Publication of revised guidelines around the three thematic areas of general movement, industry and labour; and community activities;
“Provision of technical support for states to mobilise additional resources for the response”.
He, however, disclosed that domestic flights can resume operations across the nation as soon as practicable.
The SGF further revealed that the Federal Government is considering locking down the 18 local government areas with the highest cases of COVID-19.
The lockdown, the SGF said, would be implemented by the government of the states where the 18 LGAs are.
According to him, Nigeria has not reached its peak and with 39 molecular labs, warning that the number of infections will continue to rise.
While urging state governors to drive the process, the SGF also asked all local authorities, including religious and traditional leaders, to ensure compliance to non pharmaceutical interventions.
On the low mortality rate in the country, the SGF said 80 percent of the infections were in the age bracket of 31 to 40 years, which he described as a very active part of the population.
Mustapha, however, said that the PTF was worried about the remaining 20 percent as he said nobody knows who may become victims among them.
He added that everything was being done to protect the vulnerable such as the elderly and those with underlying illnesses.
Some of the states with the highest number of cases are Lagos, Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi, Borno, Edo, Ogun and the FCT.
Meanwhile, all primary schools and daycare centres across the nation are to remain closed until further notice.
The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, Sani Aliyu, who stated this in Abuja on Monday, said the the development is to protect Nigerian children from the dreaded COVID-19.
“All daycares and primary schools to remain closed till further evaluation,” he said.