Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce PTF on Covid-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr. Boss Mustapha has expressed the government readiness to reopen the nation’s airspace for international flights in ‘a matter of weeks’.
He made this known during Thursday’s briefing of the taskforce. “To sustain gains already made, therefore, the PTF recommended to the President, the retention of the current phase of the response with minor changes to address economic, socio-political, and health concerns. These measures are further outlined in the guidelines to be elaborated upon by the National Coordinator.
“It is, however, important to inform you that the major changes being proposed are aimed at achieving the following: Gradual re-opening of international air flights within established parameters; Re-opening of rail transportation within established parameters; Granting permission to exit classes to resume ahead of examinations; Allowing civil servants from Grade Level 12 to resume work, and opening recreational parks for supervised exercises.
“After due consideration of the recommendations, Mr. President approved the following: Maintaining the current phase of the National Response to COVID-19 for another four weeks in line with the modifications reflected in the Report;
Partnering with States and Local Governments to improve community sensitization and engagement to the COVID-19 response; urging the State Governments to collaborate with Local Government Authorities to intensify necessary measures such as contact tracing, grassroots mobilization, and risk communication; and Strengthening of collaboration with other mandate groups at Federal/State levels to harmonize the country’s COVID-19 response, on the short, medium and long-term basis”. ensuring that the use of face masks in public appearance and open places is mandatory.
He lamented the increased non-compliance with non-pharmaceutical prevention measures; lack of enforcement of necessary guidelines issued to preserve lives; insufficient engagement by some states with the national response; as well as “a lingering concern about the gap between identified cases and the actual burden of disease; and apathy, fatigue, and disbelief combining to challenge public enlightenment, compliance and behavior change.
“Community transmission is increasing, as reflected in the fact that 536 Local Government Areas – 69% of the total – have reported a COVID-19 case.
He also maintained that the 10 am. to 4 pm. curfew, limitation on mass gatherings, and virtual holding of government meetings remain in place.