Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has extended the lockdown ease has been by another four weeks. Chairman of the PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha made the announcement on Monday during his Press briefing.
Mustapha in the statement also said schools may resume for students in graduating classes while domestic air travels may also resume, when practicable.
“Within the Month under review, the PTF continued to monitor developments and consistently admonished Nigerians to change their behavior in view of the fact that the spread of the virus had entered the community phase. It is the considered opinion of the PTF that Nigerians, though aware of the existence of the virus, have generally misunderstood the objectives behind the reasoning of government in gradually relaxing the restrictions.
“ As we are all aware, the PTF in conjunction with sub-national entities, the organized private sector, put in places a number of measures. The PTF also escalated its activities around risk communication to Nigerians but we have observed with growing concern the non-compliances with these measures designed to prevent transmission and protect vulnerable segments of the population. We hold the strong view that if such actions do not abate, experiences of resurgence of the virus from other jurisdictions including China, the United States of America, Brazil and across Europe may emerge in igeria and we run the risk of erasing the gains made in the last three months.
“By way of a reminder, there is presently no known vaccine for the virus and that all over the world non-pharmaceutical measures still remain the most effective fighting opportunity we have for overcoming this pandemic.
“To further strengthen our National Response, the PTF in the intervening period vigorously built partnerships locally and internationally. Similarly, we fully have decentralised the National Response with State Governments and communities taking ownership and more responsibility. These efforts have greatly improved our ability to maximally detect, trace, isolate and treat nationwide successfully.
“The PTF has also continued to pursue the strategic thrust of “telling (communicate), tracing (identify) and treating (manage)” cases, with a stronger focus on precision interventions in high burdened LGAs within identified states of the Federation. This precision intervention will be signposted by:
Aggressive scaling up of efforts to ensure effective community protection and sensitisation; and
Increased provision of support and guidance to states in their response to the outbreak.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the focus on the important roles to be played by the States is underscored by the following considerations:
The spread has entered the community phase which only States and LGAs should drive;
The inaction of a particular State could endanger its neighbours and compromise the entirety of the response;
States will be encouraged to make considerable efforts to ensure a push for compliance within the guidelines issued by the PTF;
States must also take greater care in leading on public health measures in the LGAs under their jurisdiction, by working on surveillance, case finding, testing, isolation, tracing and quarantining contacts; and
FG will predicate its resource deployment to States on the level of compliance and the extent of collaboration received on this public health emergency.
“Notwithstanding the challenges faced in the last one month and the fact that Nigeria’s statistics have been on the rise, substantial progress has been made in the following areas:
Harnessing of data, which shows that 60% of the confirmed cases are in a handful of local governments in the country (18 out of 774 LGAs nationwide), and putting in place targeted interventions;
Increased capacity to detect, test and trace those infected with the virus,
through the activation of 38 molecular testing laboratories, resulting in raising the test count nationwide in excess