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Updated: COVID-19: FG extends protocols for another four weeks

....Commences process for reopening of International flights ....Civil servants to work full working hours , Monday to Friday ....Workers from grade level 12 now to resume work.

Federal government said it will maintain the COVID-19 protocols which are currently in operation for managing federal the response to the global Coronavirus pandemic.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on the Coronavirus response, PTF COVID-19, Boss Mustapha announced this at the briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

The new guidelines which was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday was sequel to the report submitted to the President on Wednesday in Abuja , by the PTF.

This is just as more workers are now expected to resume works as government lowered the grade level of workers to resume work to those on grade level 12 and above as against the current grade level 14 and above.

The new guidelines however retained the 10pm to 4am curfew, virtual meetings in government offices, restrictions in schools resumption and the market sector operations, free movement of people and goods continues only until curfew hours, especially for inter- State travels.

Federal government also retained the earlier directives for Banks to limit customers by 50% capacity inside the banking halls.

Mustapha said President Buhari approved the maintenance of the current phase of the National Response to COVID-19 for another four weeks in line with the modifications reflected in the report.

Others include 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; and

“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.

National Coordinator of the PTF, Sani Aliyu, who provided further details noted that it will maintain restrictions on mass gatherings with emphasis on protecting the vulnerable population, including the elderly.

“We continue to urge persons above the age of 60 that have underlying medical illnesses such as diabetes, Cardiovascular diseases and those that have immuno suppression to stay at home and limit their interactions with the general public.

“We also strongly recommend that government’s meetings continue to be virtual as much as possible, while maintaining restrictions on physical meetings,including official trips,oversight visits and board meetings until further notice.

The PTF said it will also retain restrictions on education and entertainment sector as well as other activities that attract mass gatherings such as operators of markets and worship centres, as part of requirements for safety protocols.

“Nigerians could go out for work,and to markets to buy necessary food and exercise.

“For international travels,we’ve made recommendations to the Aviation industry to commence the process of opening Airports,providing all international and local prevention guidelines on the covid pandemic are in place.

“For inter state travel, free movement of people and goods across state borders continue but only outside the curfew hours.

The PTF which lamented the lack of compliance with guidelines on non- pharmaceutical requirements, vowed to ensure strict enforcement of the guideline, especially with regards to those drawn by the federal Ministry of Works Transportation as well as the advisories provided by the federal road safety Corps as it relates to reduced occupancy of vehicles.

“Passengers are requested to report any Public Transport Operator who fails to comply with the FRSC. Guidelines agreed with major transport stakeholders.

“In this particular phase we would continue to push for the security services and law enforcement agencies to ensure they do jobs to maintain public health.

Speaking on industry and labour, the PTF said the new modifications is for banks to limit the number of customers within their operating areas to 50 percent occupancy within the banking hall in order to allow for physical distancing, while also maintaining that Banking operating shall continues usual.

“For government offices and other cooperate offices,we are now extending working hours to normal official hours,from MONDAY to Friday with the mandatory non medical face masks.

“We encourage work at home for civil slash public servants below the grade level of 12.

“Essential staff of grade level 12 and above may be allowed to come to work. Our previous cut off was grade level 13.

Aliyu said restaurants will be expected to maintain the current away and delivery system until further notice.

 

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