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PTF Gives Businesses , Worship Centers 2 Weeks To Plan For Reopening

.... we didn’t pay for Madagascar herbal remedy

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The Presidential Task Force ( PTF) on Covid -19 has said that churches , mosques, businesses and others awaiting reopening should use the next two weeks to adopt new strategies under the Covid -19 era .

Secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha disclosed this during the daily briefing of the task force in Abuja .

Recall that the federal government had extended the gradual easing of the lockdown by two weeks .

According to the SGF, “the two additional weeks should be utilized by businesses, offices, professional bodies, places of worship, educational institutions, etc awaiting reopening to plan and adopt new strategies under a COVID-19 era in line with the guidelines.

“Above all, behavioral change is a must for every citizen because COVID 19 has changed the world completely.

Mustapha ,who is also the chairman of the PTF explained reasons why the government had to extend the gradual lockdown by two weeks .

He explained that the well considered decision was taken out of an abundance of caution, current experiences from different countries and expert advice.

He added that the federal government were persuaded by the history of global pandemics because it is replete with evidence of exponential rise in pandemic upon early lifting of restrictions, for which the 1918 – 1920 influenza remains the most recent example in human history.

He said ”Nigeria, judging from these historical perspectives, must in our present approach, delicately balance between safety and economic considerations before we reopen the economy, fully.

“Again, I wish to repeat that the decision is not punitive, we share your pains and also share your concerns. However, our future remains in our hands and compliance is one of the keys to opening that future.

“As we go into the first week of the extension of Phase One under the eased lockdown regime, we appeal once more to everyone, to diligently comply with measures put in place.

“Of particular importance is the need to obey the curfew, obey the ban on interstate travels, observe physical distancing, avoid large gatherings, observe personal and respiratory hygiene and align with the policy on use of masks/covering.

He further reiterated that the PTF COVID-19 is committed and determined to continue to provide the required leadership for the national response.

The SGF stated that specific directives have been issued to security agencies to strictly enforce the measures “I therefore admonish Nigerians to please observe the restrictions in full.

He, however assured essential workers such as the frontline medical personnel, the media, the environmental health workers, farmers and agro-related service providers, oil and gas services, aviation, the power sector and a host of others that they will be adequately protected.

“Your obligation is to always carry a valid means of identification.

He also reminded all Nigerians that the ravaging force of the virus does not discriminate on the basis of status, creed, political persuasion, profession or where you come from.

“Now is the time to avoid any distraction from whatever quarters and all hands must be and remain on deck. On our part, we assure Nigerians of our commitment to accountability, diligence and probity,” he added .

For those who are struggling with the disease, the SGF said help is available.

“Do not go underground. It’s important to talk about it and to seek help. Every effort spares humanity the agony of the spread of the virus.

He also dismissed insinuations that the government paid for the Madagascar herbal remedy.

“We did not ask for it , it was given by the government to African countries. Those 5 cartons were delivered to me yesterday, I am going to give the minister of health under whose agencies will carry out validation.

“Well it handed to me without an invoice so I assume it didn’t come with any cost. Madagascar and Chinese issues should be laid to rest, they are not central to the issues we have at hand .There should not be further interrogation in matters that will not help our nation fight Covid -19.

He also stated that life after Covid -19 “will not be our normal life again . The benefit of the distraction is that it will make us put on our thinking cap.It will not be business as usual again .It has exposed the weaknesses in all our systems even in developed countries .

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