… As face mask becomes mandatory nationwide
By Williams Anuku, Abuja
Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha has placed the number of Nigerians evacuated from abroad, since the outbreak of coronavirus at 8,000.
Although, he did not state in specific terms what was spent by government in the evacuation process, he said it came at a minimal cost to the Federal Government.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari has given approval to sustain the phased lockdown for another four weeks, within which there would be continued partnership with local and state governments to improve community enlightenment on the dangers posed by the virus.
Besides these measures, the PTF chairman, said henceforth citizens across the thirty six states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT would be required to wear face mask at all public gathering, and corporate establishments.
“We have successfully evacuated over 8,000 stranded Nigerians abroad at minimal cost to the Government; but we would continue strong coordination with the private sector to mobilise resources for the response.
“After due consideration of the recommendations, Mr. President approved the following: that we maintain the current phase of the National Response to COVID-19 for another four weeks in line with the modifications reflected in the Report.
“We would also partner with States and Local Governments to improve community sensitisation and engagement to the COVID-19 response while mandating State authorities and the FCT, to enforce non-pharmaceutical guidelines, primarily the use of face masks in public appearance and places.
“We would also encourage State Governments to collaborate with Local Government Authorities to intensify necessary measures such as contact tracing, grassroots mobilisation and risk communication; and
Strengthening of collaboration with other mandate groups at Federal/State levels to harmonise the country’s COVID-19 response, on the short, medium and long-term basis,” Mustapha noted .