The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha has provided clarifications on the announcement of a phased easing of the lockdown order by President Muhammadu Buhari.

During the press briefing of the PTF-COVID-19 on Wednesday, Mustapha gave a breakdown of how the new system will run, and the people allowed to travel.

“Following the pronouncement of the President, it has become necessary to provide initial clarifications for Nigerians on some of the new measures such as the overnight curfew, inter-state travels and related matters. Specific details will be provided shortly by the National Coordinator.

“​For the avoidance of doubt, the following clarifications, are provided:

i. The overnight curfew is applicable nationwide from 8.00pm to 06.00am daily, effective Monday, 4th of May, 2020;

ii. Inter-State travels are banned except for the movement of goods, agro-products, petroleum products, essential services, etc such as directed by Mr. President;

iii. The Management of various offices, premises and businesses that will be gradually re-opened are mandated to ensure that the following preparatory steps are taken:

a. Fumigation and decontamination,

b. Arrangement made for physical distancing;

c. Provision of hand sanitizers and hand washing facilities;

d. Application of the policy on mandatory use of face masks;

e. Provision of thermometers for temperature checks;

f. Consideration must be given to persons living with disabilities while making all these arrangements;

g. Increased communication with staff on COVID-19 and measures put in place; and

h. Any other measure that may be peculiar for the organisations and/or sector;

iv. Mass gathering of more than 20 people outside of a workplace is strictly prohibited;

v. Controlled access to neighborhood markets and locations of economic activities will be enforced;

vi. Mandatory temperature checks will be conducted in public places;

vii. Social distancing of 2 metres to be maintained between people in workplaces and other public places;

viii. All passenger flights remain under ban; and

ix. Mandatory supervised isolation of persons arriving from outside the country for at least 14 days.

State Governments in collaboration with Security Agencies and relevant trade associations are strongly advised to ensure that these measures are strictly enforced;

“I must emphasise once more that the easing of restrictions and introduction of revised measures do not amount to the end of this battle against COVID-19. Indeed, it signifies the need for more vigilance and stringent compliance so that we are not lulled into complacence capable of diminishing the progress we have made so far.

“In furtherance of tackling the situation in Kano, the technical team of public health experts sent by the PTF has begun the evaluation of the situation in the State, working in collaboration with the State’s Team. I am pleased to also inform you that the operationalization of the laboratories in Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital and Bayero University Kano, will considerably improve our response to the pandemic in Kano State. Additionally, fifty trucks of assorted grains have been sent to Kano and due for delivery within the next 48 hours.”

He further called for more research from local scientists, saying their inputs are very important at this period.

“The PTF appreciates the cooperation of the Governor and the medical team in Kano State.

“I need to, at this point, mention the role of Research in this exercise. We must encourage our local scientists and deepen our capacity for research. There is a huge role for all relevant Research Institutes to play at this time. The Federal Ministry of Health is coordinating the process in conjunction with the National Institute for Medical Research and the Nigerian Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development. We have received information on domestic and international claims about emerging inventions on COVID-19. These are most welcome but scientific validation process and protocols will have to be followed. We are open to all options for the good of humanity.

“The PTF appreciates the feedback, reports, suggestions and constructive criticisms received from Nigerians on its activities, through the Whatsapp platform deployed on telephone number 07053536666. We look forward to more interaction to enable us improve our work.

14.​Once again, we urge everyone, as citizens, to take responsibility for our actions, so that we can collectively overcome the COVID-19 scourge. I would not fail to reiterate the need for Nigerians to please continue to adhere to the laid down advisories.

“Once again, I appreciate the members of the press and our frontline workers for your invaluable contributions to the success of this war.

“The PTF continues to receive donations in kind from different organisations and groups to support the fight against COVID-19. This morning, the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria donated assorted food items. The Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship International -Nigeria has also donated the sum of N10 Million. The PTF and indeed the nation, appreciates these gestures and assure the donors that the resources would be judiciously applied.”