The Federal Government has extended the current phase of eased restriction for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said this on Monday in Abuja at the 33rd joint national briefing of the taskforce.
According to him, the two weeks extension of Phase one of the eased restriction is also to enable other segments of the economy prepare adequately for compliance with the guidelines, preparatory to reopening in the coming weeks.
The SGF who said that the outcomes of the first phase of the eased lockdown have been mixed, said that while some objectives were met, the PTF assessment showed that non-compliance was rampant but the PTF nevertheless continue to persuade the populace through its messaging and daily briefing, on the need to take responsibility.
“The PTF considers it important to let you know that it has relied largely on science, statistics, lessons learnt from other parts of the world and an evaluation of our peculiar circumstances to draw its conclusions on the outcome of the last two weeks.
“For example, our surveillance, infection prevention and control activities identified nine high burden local government areas in the federation reporting high number of cases and accounting for 51 percent of the total number of infections in the country. All the nine are densely populated local government areas nationwide”
The SGF said the inevitable conclusion of the PTF, is that the fight against COVID-19 is long term as the virus is not likely to go away very soon.
He said this is further underscored by the fact that no vaccine is expected till around the end of 2021.
He added, “Nigeria is not where we wish to be in terms of control, ownership, infrastructure and change of behavior. We must do more.”