Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Reopening Schools, Public Places Dangerous FG Advice States: Olusegun Ariyo

 The next 14 days in Nigeria – Businessday NG

Although some states are planning to reopen schools and other public places from next month in July, the President Task Force on Covid-19 has advised against such action coming from states with such intentions saying it is not yet safe to do so.
Chairman of PTF/Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, who gave the warning yesterday in Abuja, said the task force received reports that some states were contemplating the re-opening of schools, television viewing centres, sports stadia and other public places.

He said, “The PTF re-emphasizes that it is not yet safe to do so and that utmost caution should be exercised. The PTF guideline should still be complied with while considering the decision of this nature.”
Mustapha disclosed that in the course of monitoring compliance across the nation, PTF observed an escalation of the level of non-compliance to keep physical distance, wear masks in public places, sanitation and hygiene, especially in markets, motor parks and some places of worship.
According to him, PTF has already issued guidelines for a mode of operations at places of worship, urging state’s to embark on community testing.
His words, “We wish to re-emphasise that all relaxed measures are still subject to review and advisories issued are for personal and public safety purposes. The breach of the ban on interstate travels is also a point of concern.
“The PTF appeals to state governments to embark on wider community testing, enforce rules on social distancing, step up community engagement and risk communication as well as pay attention to places of large gatherings. We also appeal to security agencies to enforce the ban on inter-state travels very strictly.”
The SGF noted that in line with the revised protocols, the evacuation of Nigerians stranded abroad had resumed, adding that the country received 269 Nigerians from India and 102 from Egypt.
All the evacuees tested negative before boarding the plane and would be re-tested within 72-hours of arrival in Nigeria, he added.

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