President Muhammad Buhari has considered and approved the Transition into the third Phase of the National Response to COVID-19 for a period of four weeks with effect from 12.01am on Friday 4th September, 2020 in line with amendments to address economic, socio-political and health considerations reflected in the implementation guidelines.
The Chairman of Presidential Task Force PTF on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha made this known at the National Press Conference on Thursday, he said PTF believes that while Nigeria is not ready for a full re-opening of the economy, there has been sufficient progress to warrant significant further relaxation of the restrictions applied.
According to him, “Mr. President considered and approved the following: Transition into the third Phase of the National Response to COVID-19 for a period of four weeks with effect from 12.01 am on Friday 4th September, 2020 in line with amendments to address economic, socio-political and health considerations reflected in the implementation guidelines.
“Continued engagement with States and Local Governments to improve community sensitisation on the response, Maintaining the current non-pharmaceutical interventions nationwide, Urging the State governments to work with Local Government authorities in their states to intensify necessary measures such as contact tracing, grassroots engagement and risk communication.
“Strengthening the collaboration between the Federal and State organs to harmonise the country’s COVID-19 response, in the short, medium and long-term basis; and Introduction of sanctions including the suspension of passports or denial of foreign travels for violation of current provisional travel related quarantine protocols.
“Mr. President has similarly considered the fact that the six-month mandate of the PTF will expire this month and has therefore extended it till the end of December, 2020. The objective is to Sustain a robust multi-sectoral national response. Ensure that we successfully navigate the community spread stage of the pandemic. Strengthen our health system and other socio-economic infrastructure to enable them meet our national aspirations”, he said.
He noted that global community has made appreciable progress in the development of COVID-19 Vaccine. “As at 28 August 2020, a total of 173 candidate vaccines were under evaluation. 33 candidate vaccines are under clinical evaluation (8 are in phase 3 trials) while 143 candidate vaccines are in pre-clinical evaluation. The PTF continues to monitor developments so that the country can benefit from the emergence of an effective vaccine.
“The PTF has continued to assess developments in Nigeria preparatory to the determination of the next steps. As at September 2, 2020 the number of confirmed cases in Nigeria was 54,463, with 1,027 recorded deaths. Between August and September, the number of states with over 1000 confirmed cases increased from 10 to 12 and the FCT. The Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) has consistently remained at 1.9%, indicating improved case management and resulting in fewer COVID-19 deaths”, he said.