AfricaCorona VirusNigeria

FG extends eased lockdown with one week due to Sallah festivities

By Oluwaseun Sonde

The Federal Government has announced the extension of eased lockdown for a week due to the upcoming Sallah (Eid El-Kabir) festivities which coincides with the expiration of the current phase, while it would be prudent to extend it from 29th July, 2020 till Thursday 6th August, 2020 to continue curbing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chairman of Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 and the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha disclosed this at the Press Conference in Abuja on Monday, he said it has accordingly secured permission to retain the existing guidelines till that date.

According to him, “PTF has continued to evaluate the developments as well as the level of compliance nationwide and has regrettably come to the inevitable conclusion 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.

“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”, he said.

He urged all 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. WHO has also issued Safe Eid practices in the context of COVID-19 and I urge us all to access and disseminate.

“PTF appreciates the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), who has always been a great champion in the fight against the pandemic for advising Muslims to avoid massive gatherings at Eid grounds and pray at Area Mosques under prescribed protocols, as we prepare for the Eid El Kabir celebration”, he said.

Considering the importance of international air travel to the economy, he said 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”, he said.

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