The Federal Government on Monday extended the phase two of the ease of lockdown in the country by another one week.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, announced this at the briefing of the PTF which held in Abuja.
Mustapha, the PTF Chairman, said the body has continued to evaluate the developments as well as the level of compliance nationwide.
He regretted that majority of Nigerians, irrespective of status, creed and level of education, continue to live in denial on the virulent nature of the virus and consistently breach the guidelines and non-pharmaceutical measures put in place.
“We informed you two weeks ago that the process of submitting the 6th Interim Report and recommendations for next steps had commenced. The PTF has reached advanced stages of the process. It has also considered that due to the upcoming Sallah (Eid El-Kabir) festivities which coincides with the expiration of the current phase, it would be prudent to extend by one week, from 29th July, 2020 till Thursday 6th August, 2020.
“It has accordingly secured permission to retain the existing guidelines till that date. Considering the importance of international air travel to the economy, the PTF and the Aviation Sector are working hard to fast track reopening of the international airspace. Most importantly, the arrival protocols for passengers on in-bound flights are being firmed up for seamless testing and detection. Relevant MDAs will be holding further consultations.
“The COVID-19 remains very virulent and very dangerous. Our analysis has shown that people over 50 years of age especially those with underlying factors remain most at risk. This position is backed by the fact that 65% of fatalities recorded in Nigeria are in this category. That brings me to the need to appeal to Nigerians on the need for a change of behavior and compliance with guidelines and measures put in place.
“If you do not need to go outside your home, please stay indoors. Avoid large gatherings and observe all the measures. In recent times, our risk communication teams have developed messages aimed at resonating very well with different demographic groups. The common string is the message for compliance and the proper wearing of face masks and coverings in public spaces. The National Coordinator will be elaborating further on this.
“As we prepare for the Eid El Kabir celebration, we also want to urge all our Muslim Brothers and Sisters and indeed all Nigerians to continue to observe all measures. We note with delight, the increasing number of States that have shelved activities during the Eid-el-kabir and we still urge others yet to do so, to follow suit.”