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FG Warns Against Relaxing Lockdown Restrictions

SGF, Boss Mustapha

By Mathew Dadiya,Abuja

The Federal Government Thursday, warned that any attempt to reopen business by relaxing the lockdown being enforced across states in the federation could lead to a devastation.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation and chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Coronavirus (PTF-COVID-19), Boss Mustapha, handed down the warning at the daily press briefing in Abuja while reacting to what was described as “lack of synergy between the federal and states governments.

Mustapha’s reaction was targeted at Kano state, which went from recording one index case to having 21 confirmed cases.
“This is not the time to relax any lockdown. A state has gone from one index case to 21, so is a serious business please. Its not a joking matter and this is not the time to play any game.

The Taskforce has also raised the alarm over the escalation of community transmission of the disease by those moving from one state to another.

National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, who raised the alarm during the daily media briefing by the task force, pointed at the mass smuggling of people out of Lagos State in trucks.

However, the Coordinator appealed to Nigerians to take federal government and some states’ lockdown order seriously, noting the fight to beat back to pandemic in the country depended largely on how much attention and respect the public give to the guidelines issued by the PTF.

He also called on donors of palliative materials to observe basic health and safety protocols, asking them to rather work through local authorities so as to make processes orderly and less hazardous.

Dr Aliyu said, ”We have noticed that community spread is now being traced to people traveling across state borders. We need to try and restrict our movements in order to stop the spread of this  Coronavirus infection, this is particularly pertinent with regards to the news of people being smuggled in trucks out of Lagos.

“I’ll like to highlight the need for donors to safeguard life and basic health protocols during the distribution of palliatives within local communities.

“It is important that they maintain health and safety, the rise of aggressive behaviour and non-conformity to physical distancing is unacceptable and a major risk to our communities. It is serious public safety concern.
“I enjoin donors to work closely with local authorities and to ensure that the mass gathering restrictions and the physical distancing guidance that we have given is abided by”, he said.

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