The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Monday hinted that government may introduce precision lockdown for pinpoint management of coronavirus hotspots.
This is as new guidelines are expected to be unveiled any moment as the second phase of the ease of lockdown implemented over four weeks from June 2nd – 29th, expires today.
Chairman of the task force and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, stated this on Monday, after he led his team to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the progress of the national response to the pandemic at the presidential villa, Abuja on Monday.
Speaking to State House correspondents, after the meeting, he said 80% 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 also revealed that 18 out of the 774 local governments in the country have been identified as responsible for 60% of the confirmed cases in the country.
He added that the reason for the precision lockdown will be to place specific measures in certain places especially by state governments to enable aggressive testing for the disease and management.
He explained that compared to other countries with similar climatic characteristics, the mortality rate of the disease is low due to the age bracket of most of those infected by the virus.
According him, even when they have the infection, they are able to surmount it because of their level of energy.
He explained that the PTF was worried about the remaining 20% as he said nobody knows who may become victim among them.
Therefore, he said, everything was being done to protect the vulnerable such as the elderly and those with underlying illnesses.
The briefings usually involve review of the expiring protocols/guidelines and granting of approval by the President for the next phase.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, the Coordinator of the PTF on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, Director General of the National Center for Disrase Control (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, briefed the President as the second phase of the gradual easing of the lockdown which ends today.
Businessday gathered that the team made recommendations for the next phase which will be unveiled any moment.
Expectedly, issues around resumption of flights, inter state travels resumption of schools, amongst others will be addressed under the new protocols.
The PTF had last week submitted new guidelines for reopening of schools to the National Assembly, which is expected to protect school children when implemented
Government is also expected to unfold tougher measures to enforce use of face masks, on the backdrop of rising spread of the Coronavirus amongst communities to check the global pandemic from spreading further.
The second phase of the gradual easing of the lockdown in the country was for an initial period of four weeks, according to Mustapha
President Buhari had on April 27 announced the gradual easing of a five-week lockdown in FCT, Lagos and Ogun state.
The lockdown was eased to a nationwide night curfew (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) from May 4 to May 17.
The first phase of the lockdown was subsequently extended by two weeks elapsed midnight on June 1.
In the second phase, government had relaxed restrictions on banking operations and worship places.
Federal government had retained nationwide curfew but the time was reduced from 10pm to 4am, to limit social interactions and, therefore, reduce the risk of the transmissions of the virus which is now on community transmission level.
It had also removed restrictions on the movement of goods and services in the second phase.