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FG extends COVID-19 lockdown measures by one week

The Federal Government has announced the extension of the current COVID-19 lockdown measures by one week to enable Sallah festivities to end before the Government could take a final decision on whether to relax some of the lockdown regulations in the current phase or maintain them.

The one week extention would last between July 29 and August 6th, 2020.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha disclosed these during the briefing of the PTF on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, “we informed you two weeks ago that the process of submitting the 6th Interim Report and recommendations for next steps had commenced.

“The PTF has reached advanced stages of the process. It has also considered that due to the upcoming Sallah (Eid El-Kabir) festivities which coincide with the expiration of the current phase, it would be prudent to extend by one week, from 29th July, 2020 till Thursday 6th August, 2020.

“It has accordingly secured permission to retain the existing guidelines till that date”, he disclosed.

Mustapha lamented attitude of many Nigeria who, he said are not obeying COVID-19 regulation and particularly warned people who are above 50 years of age to be careful about the Coronavirus.

“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.

“The 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.

“The COVID-19 remains very virulent and very dangerous. Current statistics show the following: Global Cases Recorded: 16,380,397 cases from 215 countries; Global Deaths: 651,198. Global Recoveries: 10,093,403.

“Africa: Cases:  ​​ 848,771; Deaths​​​ 17,791; Recoveries: ​​495,660.

“Nigeria: Cases:​​ 40,532; Deaths:​​858; Recoveries:​17,374

 “WHO statistics show that on 24th July, 2020 the world recorded 284,000 confirmed cases and 9,750 deaths. Both were records in terms of the spike in daily numbers and they represent a red flag to all nations”, he revealed.  

The PTF Chairman also spoke on the forthcoming Sallah festivities and urged for caution.

“As we prepare for the Eid El Kabir celebration, we also want to urge all our 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. The National coordinator will also elaborate on this.

“Similarly, the 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”, Mustapha added.

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