Phase III of National Response on COVID-19 Approved

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President Mohammadu Buhari has approved the third phase of the National Response on the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in the country.

Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF), on COVID-19, announced the president’s approval during the PTF daily briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

Speaking on the outcome of the meeting between the committee and the President, Mustapha said “Nigerians will all recall that at the onset of the eased lockdown, the PTF drafted a three-phase strategy of easing the restrictions, ahead of a full reopening of the society and economy.

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“In determining what phase of the strategy to move to, the PTF tried to balance the public health and economic considerations alongside data analysis.

” The PTF believes that while Nigeria is not ready for a full re-opening of the economy, there has been sufficient progress to warrant significant further relaxation of the restrictions applied.

“Based on the foregoing, the PTF today submitted its 7th Interim Report to Mr. President for his consideration and approval.

“The main thrust of the recommendation is that Nigeria advances to the third phase of eased restrictions with further amendments, to address economic, socio-political, and health concerns.

“This will last until a time when the epidemic is sufficiently controlled in Nigeria.

“Accordingly, Mr. President has considered and approved the following: Transition into the third Phase of the National Response to COVID-19 for a period of four weeks with effect from 12.01 am on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020, in line with amendments to address economic, socio-political and health considerations reflected in the implementation guidelines;

“Continued engagement with States and Local Governments to improve community sensitization on the response; Maintaining the current non-pharmaceutical interventions nationwide; Urging the State governments to work with Local Government authorities in their states to intensify necessary measures such as contact tracing, grassroots engagement, and risk communication,”.

The SGF also said that the president has approved collaboration between the Federal and State organs to harmonize the country’s COVID-19 response.

“in the short, medium, and long-term basis; and Introduction of sanctions including the suspension of passports or denial of foreign travels for violation of current provisional travel-related quarantine protocols.

He also said that the President has approved the extension of the mandate of the PTF until the end of December 2020.

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