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Task force mulls guidelines to ease lockdown in Abuja, Lagos, Ogun

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•Presidency seeks smooth movement of essential goods
The Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19 is to develop guidelines for the easing of the lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states.

Also, the Ministry of Health has set up a ministerial expert advisory committee, made up of eminent virologists, public health experts, infectious disease and diagnostic experts among others, to study the evolution of the coronavirus outbreak and the responses in Nigeria as well as advise on a national strategy and action plan.

Besides, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is making sure that two million Nigerians are tested for the disease in the next three months.

Its Director General, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, dropped the hint yesterday during the daily briefing of the PTF in Abuja.

He explained that no fewer than 50,000 people are to be tested in each state, adding that the move was to reduce the transmission of the virus.

Throwing light on the guidelines, the task force chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, pointed out that the gradual easing does not mean, “we will remove all restrictions or in any way imply that the danger has passed, as the virus is still potent, virulent and dangerous.”

He added: “We must remain very vigilant and careful. We must take responsibility for our actions.”

Mustapha reiterated that the lockdown remain in full force till midnight of May 3 after which the new measures would apply.

Also yesterday, the presidency declared that the current administration could not afford a situation where agricultural products were left to rot in trucks at various checkpoints nationwide when millions of Nigerians needed food.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu in Abuja, it therefore charged states, law enforcement agents on seamless movement of essential goods, asserting: “Nigerians need to eat.”

This came in the light of the presidential directive during the nationwide broadcast on Monday.


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