Federal government on Monday released new protocols effective from 1st July, 2020, for tackling the fight against the global Coronavirus pandemic, reopening schools to allow graduating students resume classes.
Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Coroñavirus response, Boss Mustapha stated this on Monday.
He however noted that the guidelines released under phase two will be extended for another four weeks.
Under the guidelines, government said it will maintain the current phase of the national response, for another four weeks in line with some modifications
Other issues listed under the new guidelines include permission of movement across State borders only outside curfew hours with effect from 1st July, 2020
Mustapha warned that infections might increase to 45,000 in Nigeria by the end of July and Nigerians not to neglect the guidelines
The PTF said it will enforce laws around non-pharmaceutical interventions by States, in particular, the use of face masks in public places
Others include Safe re-opening of schools to allow students in graduating classes resume in-person in preparation for examinations;
“Safe reopening of domestic aviation services as soon as practicable”
The PTF said it will strengthen publication of revised guidelines around the three thematic areas of general movement, industry and labour; and community activities
Government also said it will provide technical support for states to mobilise additional resources for the response, as well as strengthening partnerships with States, Local Governments, traditional rulers, community/religious leaders and civil society to ensure increased public awareness and compliance with preventive guidelines.
Federal government, while noting that Nigeria was not yet back to normal as it is yet to flatten the Coronavirus curve, however said it will enncourage State governments to empower Local Government Authorities to intensify contact tracing efforts and ensure stronger grassroots mobilisation to support the response, encourage States and Hospital authorities to ensure continuity of other health services to prevent fatalities from other life-threatening conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic; and deepen collaboration with other mandate groups at States/Federal levels to harmonise the country’s COVID-19 response in the short, medium and long terms.
Federal government reemphasized that schools, including primary and secondary will remain closed, except for the final year class, adding that Nigerians are still endangered by the ravaging pandemic.
Mustapha stated that the PTF submitted its 5th Interim Report to President Muhammadu Buhari for his consideration, where it reviewed issues around the general level of compliance with prescribed measures.
He said the review show lack of general compliance with measures, amongst other issues which guided the new measures.
” 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” he said.
The National Coordinator of the PTF COVID-19 response team, Sani Aliyu, in his briefing, expsnded the guidelines warning that Nigeria is still battling a raging pandemic and urged individuals to take responsibility.
He stated that students in graduating classes – primary six, JSS three and SS 3 will be allowed to resume in preparations for examinations.
“The current curfew will remain and we will maintain restrictions on mass gathering and sporting activities.
“Domestic aviation activities will commence as soon as practicable, while movement across state boundaries will be allowed but only outside curfew hours. Students in graduating classes ,primary six, JSS three and SS 3 will be allowed to resume in preparations for examinations.
“Federal and state government offices will maintain their current timing with only essential staff allowed at the same level of grade level 14 and above to resume work
Aliyu insisted that the use of face masks remains mandatory adding that “we will be enforcing this at all levels including linking up with states governments.
” Access to government and commercial premises will be not allowed if you are not wearing a face mask in other words no masks no entry, no masks , no services will be provided at government premises and commercial premises for you without face masks
“For the aviation industry the aviation is allowed to resume domestic operation as soon as practicable in line with the existing international and local guidelines that are …Covid 19.
“For interstate travel, movement across boundaries will be allowed only outside the curfew time effective from the July 1 to allow the industry to prepare over the next 24 hours in particular we expect the transport industry to adhere to the federal Ministry of transportation safety protocols and guidelines that will be released specifically in relation to packs and terminals there will be restricted access to disinfection and sanitization waiting areas for passengers must have distancing ,measures there has to be posters and notices.
He however stated that Commissioners of transport in states shall undertake a tour of facilities and inform as a precondition for the resumption of interstate travels and noncompliance of the guideline will result in the withdrawal of license for interstate mass transit. The PTF expect a strict compliance of the detective at the state level.
” For intra-state level we will maintain the occupancy for buses for 50% and 2 persons for taxis but we will restrict movements in high burden local governments areas to essential travels only. This will be parts of the strategy that will be introduced.
” For industry and labour we maintain the normal working hours based on the curfew hours and create working hours schedule. But offices will maintain 75% of working hours
” Banks and financial instructions will operate normal working hours with no change. For government offices, no specific change working hours remain 9 am to 2 pm from grade level 14 and above.
“For personalize services, mechanics, artisans hair salons etc. who own their workshops and can clearly adhere to non-pharmaceutical will be permitted to operate. For markets no specific change to what we have in Phase,” he said.