The federal government has announced the extension of the second phase of the eased lockdown for four weeks.
Part of the extended protocols is the 10pm to 4am curfew imposed on the country in June.
The extension was announced on Thursday by Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic Boss Mustapha in Abuja.
The ongoing second phase was initiated on June 2, having been previously extended twice due to observed disregard by Nigerians.
National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu, explained that most of the guidelines pertaining to non-pharmaceutical interventions, would remain except for some minor adjustments where required.
Mustapha said the federal government, through the task force would engage more with the states and council areas to improve community sensitisation.
“For the past nine weeks (precisely from 2nd June, 2020), we have been running the phase two of the eased lockdown which has witnessed two extensions. These extensions were necessitated by observed lack of compliance with prescribed measures, dangers associated with community spread infections and the need to strengthen critical areas of the Response Strategy for effectiveness.
“After due consideration of the recommendations, Mr. President approved the following: maintaining the current phase of the National Response to COVID-19 for another four weeks in line with the modifications reflected in the Report;
“Partnering with States and Local Governments to improve community sensitisation and engagement to the COVID-19 response; mandating State authorities and the FCT, to enforce non-pharmaceutical guidelines, primarily the use of face masks in public appearance and places;
“Encouraging 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”, he said.
Speaking further, Mustapha added: “Domestically, in the last month, the number of States with over 1000 confirmed cases increased from four to 10 and the FCT. While Nigeria has conducted 43 per cent more tests in July than was done in June, the positivity rate has also decreased – showing the progress made in access to testing.
“Likewise, our case management efforts have also seen a reduction in the fatality rate from 1.9% in June to 1.7 per cent in July. Community transmission is increasing, as reflected in the fact that 536 Local Government Areas – 69 per cent of the total – have reported a COVID-19 case”, he said.
Dr Aliyu, provided details of what the third extension of the second phase of the eased lockdown would look like.
He said the specifics of the extended phase would include, among others, the maintaining the previously imposed 10pm to 4am curfew across the country; maintaining restrictions on mass gatherings, with particularly emphasis on protecting the most vulnerable among the population.
He said government businesses, meetings and other interactions would continue to be mostly done virtually, stating categorically that official trips and other government and public service transactions requiring traveling would remain suspended until further notice.
Schools remain closed, except for those writing exit examinations, which conducts must strictly adhere to issued guidelines and instructions. Also, the guidelines for worship places, businesses and recreation centres remain as earlier instructed in the last extension.
“Visiting of hospitalised patients remains limited to immediate family and we continue to recommend a maximum of 20 people including close family members when it comes to attendance or funerals and other essential gathering such as weddings that cannot be changed.
“So these are the main changes, most of them are minor adjustments and as I said earlier, we are continuing with the current phase 2 of the response”, Aliyu said