COVID-19: Stay At Home, FG Tells Abuja, Lagos Residents

The Federal Government has advised the residents of Abuja and Lagos to stay at home as a way to stave off the spread of COVID-19.

It has also said that all the nation’s land borders that had been under partial closure are to be shut in full for four weeks. It also announced the suspension of meetings of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

These were part of new measures announced by the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus epidemic and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, at a press briefing in Abuja on Monday.

​“All Abuja and Lagos residents are strongly advised to stay at ​​home,  avoid mass congregation of any kind as well as non-​​essential outings, until further advice is given,” he said.

Mustapha added: “After a further review, Mr President on the recommendation of Presidential Task Force (PTF) has approved the following additional measures:

“Suspension of the weekly FEC meetings until further notice;

​“Postponement of the meeting of the Council of State ​​​scheduled for Thursday, 26th March 2020;

“All land borders that have been hitherto under partial closure ​​shall now be closed for human traffic for four weeks effective, ​​23rd March 2020.”

It said to protect Federal Civil and public servants, a circular ​​to be issued by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation ​​(HCSF) shall direct on actions to be taken immediately adding: “When the need arises, any national assets required for ​​use in the response to COVID-19 shall be mobilised and ​​​deployed.”

The SGF informed that the Federal Government, is at the highest level, engaging with ​​state governors in order to ensure a collaborative and ​​​effective response to COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the SGF, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that the virus has covered 192 countries with over 329,000 cases.

He added: “In Africa, 42 out of 54 countries have reported cases while 48 deaths have been recorded.

“In Nigeria, 36 cases have been reported and one fatality has occurred.  The first responders, particularly the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), continues to attend to reports received through telephone calls and other medium.”

He commended Nigerians for stepping out to report and/or make enquires through the dedicated hotlines.

Mustapha revealed: “Records show that on Sunday, 22nd March, 2020, over 4500 calls were received.  This shows the high level of awareness amongst Nigerians.

“The strategy of government is to focus on testing, detection and containment through contact tracking in order to minimise hugely, the possibility of community spread.”

He urged anyone experiencing the symptoms of the virus or has been in contact with anyone who has been suspected or tested positive to report at the nearest medical facility or the designated centre.

He noted that the Presidential Task continued to monitor the global and domestic developments and has isolated Lagos and Abuja for particular attention in view of their population, mobility and number of cases already reported.

The SGF further said: “As you are all aware, a number of advisories have been issued and measures are taken. Part of the measures being taken presently include the following:

​“Escalating the nation’s capacity for testing and detection ​​​through the acquisition of more testing kits and ​​​​establishment of ​additional test centres; acquisition of personnel protection equipment (PPE) for ​​​different categories of frontline personnel; enhancing contact tracking; deepening awareness creation; mobilization of experts and trained personnel whether in ​​​service or retired; introduction of social distancing policies and banning mass ​​gathering of over 50 persons, closure of schools and tertiary institutions; the total ban on international travels shall commence at 12.00 ​​midnight tonight at all our airports; and leaders of different faiths have been encouraged to restrict ​​services and activities that involve mass gathering of more ​​than ​fifty of their adherents.

“State governments are also ​​​enforcing this policy at different levels.”

Mustapha assured all Nigerians of the concerns of President Muhammadu Buhari and his determination to mobilize all resources to back up this national response.


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