The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has given an update on the interstate travels in the country amid the current pandemic globally.
PTF Chairman and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the Federal Government will reopen schools for graduation candidates.
He disclosed this on Monday during a daily briefing in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
READ FULL STATEMENT:
REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION/CHAIRMAN OF THE PTF-COVID-19 AT THE NATIONAL PRESS BRIEFING OF MONDAY, 29th JUNE, 2020
I welcome you all to the National Briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 for Monday, 29th June 2020.
2.When the PTF briefed the nation on 1st June 2020, we informed you that Mr. President had approved amongst others, that we should proceed into phase two of the eased lockdown for a period of four weeks to enable the PTF to evaluate the developments properly and continue to ensure a balance between lives and livelihood.
We also cautioned that the gradual relaxation was subject to review should developments warrant it.
3.Within the Month under review, the PTF continued to monitor developments and consistently admonished Nigerians to change their behaviour 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.
4.For the purpose of emphasis, the virus is still dangerous and has continued to wreak havoc at home and abroad. The exponential rise in a number of cases detected and the fatalities gives cause for concern. Statistically, the following numbers should interest us:
Global, African and Nigerian Situation as at 27th June 2020
Recent Spike in Daily Numbers
125,039 reported in the USA on 26/06/2020
779 reported in Nigeria on 27/06 2020
Statistical comparison between the exact dates in the months of May and June 2020.
Period of Comparison
May 28 2020
June 27th 2020
Daily Reported Statistics in Nigeria from 18-27 June 2020:
(i) For eight out of the days the daily numbers exceeded 500; and
(ii) For every detected case, there is a high possibility that up to five (5) have not submitted to testing and therefore not detected.
5.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 that 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 the resurgence of the virus from other jurisdictions including China, the United States of America, Brazil and across Europe may emerge in Nigeria and we run the risk of erasing the gains made in the last three months.
6.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.
7.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.
8.The PTF has also continued to pursue the strategic thrust of “telling (communicate), tracing (identity) 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:
9.Ladies and gentlemen, the focus on the important roles to be played by the States is underscored by the following considerations:
iii. States will be encouraged to make considerable efforts to ensure a push for compliance within the guidelines issued by the PTF;
10.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:
through the activation of 38 molecular testing laboratories, resulting in raising the test count nationwide in excess of 130,000;
iii. A shift in focus to a targeted community-based approach, enhanced risk communication;
vii. Cushioning the socio-economic impact of the restrictions through the provision of palliatives to vulnerable members of various communities nationwide; and
viii. Successful re-opening sectors of the economy despite initial challenges in areas such as the banking sector, industry and agriculture.
12.Today, the PTF submitted its 5th Interim Report to Mr. President for his consideration. In the Report the PTF specifically reviewed the issues around the general level of compliance with prescribed measures, while taking note of the following:
iii. the continued restrictions in the education and transportation sectors as well as for activities that attract mass gatherings such as operations of markets, worship centres and entertainment.
I3.In doing the foregoing, the PTF considered the need for the continuation of the policy of striking the delicate balance between lives and livelihood as well as inputs received from different stakeholder groups.
14.The PTF similarly identified the underlisted areas of concern that would require attention under the on-going restrictions:
iii. Educational services/sector; and
15.You will recall that the PTF had in previous briefings stated that the aim of Phase Two was to sustain the gains from earlier steps taken for pandemic control and to enable additional sectors of the economy restart activities. Given the challenges and the visible danger ahead occasioned by scepticism, poor public perception both leading to lack of compliance, it has come to the inevitable conclusion that the extension of phase two of the eased lockdown will be needed to:
iii. support the states in enforcing guidelines and protocols as well as strengthening the LGAs build community-level structures for ownership and effective risk communication; and
16.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.
17.Specifically, however, the following measures shall either remain in place or come into effect:
iii. Enforcement of laws around non-pharmaceutical interventions by States, in particular, the use of face masks in public places;
vii. Provision of technical support for states to mobilise additional resources for the response;
viii. Strengthening partnerships with States, Local Governments, traditional rulers, community/religious leaders and civil society to ensure increased public awareness and compliance with preventive guidelines;
18.The National Coordinator will in due course announce and publish the details of the revised guidelines while relevant MDAs including Education, Transportation and Aviation will respectively consult further with stakeholders and issue guidelines for their sectors
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