Boss Mustapha
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COVID-19: PTF says Nigeria not ready for full reopening of economy

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…sport activities to also resume

In spite of the likely flattening of the curve, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 pandemic says Nigeria is not yet ready for a full reopening of the economy.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and PTF Chairman, Mr Boss Mustapha, said this at Thursday’s media briefing of the task force in Abuja.

He said after a very careful review of the national response, the PTF believed that while recent numbers point to a likely flattening of the curve, the country was not yet ready for a full reopening of the economy.

According to Mustapha, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved that Nigeria further relaxes the restrictions in this third phase of the response, while maintaining key limitations to curb the risk of a spike in cases.

“The major changes proposed by the PTF are as follows: Gradual and safe re-opening of schools and NYSC camps; Re-commencement of sporting leagues, in particular all outdoor activities such as football; Sustaining the midnight-4am curfew on movement nationwide; and Removal of the limitation on civil servants allowed to come to work.

 “Maintaining the third Phase of the National Response to COVID-19 for a period of four weeks with effect from 00.01am on Monday, 19th October, 2020 in line with amendments to address economic, socio-political and health considerations reflected in the table above.

“Sustain engagement with States and Local Governments to improve community sensitisation and sample collection.

“Continue to monitor the impact of school re-opening and the commencement of international travel and enforcing compliance with the protocols set out for the safe resumption of these activities and maintaining the already established non-pharmaceutical interventions nationwide in order to flatten the curve,” the federal government scribe also said.

Noting that states have achieved the testing target of one percent of the population, Mustapha said FCT and Lagos State closely followed by three states that have crossed 50 percent, while 26 States were yet to reach 25 percent of testing target.

He said Molecular Laboratory for COVID-19 test has been established in every state with additional funding provided by the Federal Government to scale up tests.

He said the PTF had also concluded arrangements to execute the National Testing Week as part of the arrangements to ramp up testing, disclosing that 27,000 international passengers had arrived in Nigeria since the resumption of international flights in September.

On youth corps members, Mustapha said arrangements had been concluded to test additional 100,000 members at the various National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) orientation camps nationwide when they reopen.

Orientation camps are scheduled for reopening on November 10.

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