Tag Archives: PTF

COVID-19: Gov’t suspends 100 passport of passengers [Nigeria]

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The Federal Government has suspended the passports of 100 in-bound airline passengers who failed to take the second test of COVID-19 after arriving in the country.

Mr Boss Mustapha, Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, disclosed this at the national briefing on Tuesday, in Abuja.

Mustapha, also, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said that the names of the passengers would be published on Jan. 1, 2021, while the suspension of the passports would last for six months.

“With effect from Jan. 1, 2021, passports of the first 100 passengers, who failed to take their day-seven post-arrival polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, would be published in the national dailies,” he said.

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”Week 52 has so far given us the highest number of infections in a single week to date. Our analysis shows that 16 out of every 100 tests carried out are positive.

”We are also seeing increasing transmission among younger people and this is not considered good and safe. We must, therefore, exercise utmost restraint by taking responsibility,” he said.

Mustapha said that the PTF had discussed two critical issues, Oxygen supply and Case Management, and during the conversation with health authorities, CMDs of Federal Tertiary Institutions in Abuja, National Hospital; Jabi & Gwagwalada, the PTF directed that the level of Infections, Prevention and Control, as well as case management, should be prioritised immediately.

”With the increasing number of infections and hospitalisation, our objectives are to: ensure that infection, prevention and control (IPC) is properly instituted to minimise spread and exposure of health care workers to the virus;

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”Ensure that those who require hospitalisation are well managed; those requiring medical attention for other ailments gain access to Treatment at medical facilities; and critical care is available and deployed, especially where oxygen is needed.

“The situation in Abuja and its environs has been of concern to the PTF,” he said.

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The PTF chairman added: “You will recall that we recently issued some protocols to states to which a number of states have been actively implementing. We thank these States and urge others to follow suit.

“Closely related to these protocols, is the fact that the strategy of testing to detect and treat remains central to the role states are expected to play.

”Data shows that despite the resources already made available to sub-national entities, testing is very low across States in varying degrees.

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“This is not helping our National Response. Indeed, some states have not reported any infections in several weeks, and laboratories recently established in the States are not working optimally.

“You will recall that we moved from two laboratories to about ninety (Public & Private) located in all states of the Federation. Their inability to function optimally has resulted in unacceptable levels of delay in receiving results and pressure on the National Reference Labs.

“We wish to urge all States to reopen all laboratories and ensure that testing is expanded and turnaround time for results is substantially reduced. In the same vein, states should please keep their Isolation/Treatment Centres open because of the rising cases of infection nationwide.”

He further said that the PTF “ has worked out additional quarantine protocols to be observed by travellers arriving from the UK and South Africa. This is in keeping with our determination to minimise any possibility of importation of the virus.

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“The new policy started from Monday, Dec.28, 2020 with key changes that include requirement from passengers for two additional documents: permit to travel/QR code obtained from the travel portal, after payment for the day seven post-arrival test; and COVID-19 PCR negative test with a validity now shortened to 96 hours or four days.

“The PTF shall remain vigilant on this matter and our relevant agencies are also working on the sequencing to determine the (COVID-19) strain found”, he said.

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#Newsworthy

COVID-19: PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha lands in Isolation centre

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Mustapha, who disclosed this in a statement on Sunday night, said he and his wife are currently negative, but needed to observe all safety precautions by self-isolating.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and Chairman, Presidential Task Force PTF on COVID-19, Mr. Boss Mustapha, has gone into self-isolation after some members of his family tested positive for the virus.

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The statement, which Boss Mustapha personally signed, read: “I would like to inform the general public that some members of my household tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday (Saturday) evening.

“Although they are currently asymptomatic, they have been isolated and are receiving care in one of the government treatment centres.

“My wife and I tested negative, but will remain in self-isolation and work from home according to protocols by the health authorities.

“I would like to remind all Nigerians that COVID-19 is real. As the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, announced last week, we are recording an increase in cases across several states.

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“Please stay safe and protect yourself. Adhere to all public health and safety measures so that we do not lose the gains we have made in the fight against COVID-19.

“As a family, we covet your prayers. Please take responsibility for yourself and to protect our country,” Boss Mustapha added.

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#Newsworthy

COVID-19: Ramp up test and declare credible results – Boss Mustapha tells State.

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The Nigerian Government has called on authorities in various states to appropriately declare the results of coronavirus (COVID-19) tests conducted as quickly as possible.

Mr Boss Mustapha made the call on Monday at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The PTF Chairman explained that the call was necessary to ensure early detection which he said would ultimately translate to treatment and levelling of the curve of the virus in the country.

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He acknowledged that the nation’s sample collection was low and advised authorities in the states to ramp up their testing.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, noted that Nigeria now has 52,227 confirmed cases, with 1,002 deaths and 38,945 recoveries.

He added that the country has remained the fourth nation with highest cumulative cases in Africa, while the global cases have increased from 22.5 million to 23.5 million in about four days.

Despite crossing the 1,000 mark on Sunday, the PTF chairman insisted that the country has continued to record a steady decline in its Case Fatality Rate (CFR) over the last few months.

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He stated that the death toll was ​3 per cent on April 30, 2.8 per cent on ​May 31, 2.3 per cent ​June 30, 2 per cent on ​July 31, and ​1.92 per cent as of August 22.

The SGF noted that the Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi, who he said has been foremost in the fight against COVID-19, had tested positive for the disease.

He wished the commissioner and all other frontline workers that have risked their lives but contracted the virus in the process, safe and speedy recovery.

According to Mustapha, this is a grim reminder that COVID-19 is no respecter of persons or the positions they hold and everyone is at risk and must take responsibility.

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Read the full remarks by the PTF chairman at the briefing below:

REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION/CHAIRMAN OF THE PTF-COVID-19 AT THE NATIONAL PRESS BRIEFING OF MONDAY 24th AUGUST, 2020

​I welcome you all to the National Briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 for Monday, 24th August 2020.

2.​ Last week Thursday, we informed you that Nigeria had crossed the 50,000 mark of confirmed cases. Yesterday Sunday, 23rd August, we reached the unenviable record of 1,000 fatalities.

We wish to restate that these records are not just numbers as they vividly remind us of the dangers that we still face. May the souls of all those that have lost the battle against COVID-19 rest in peace.

3.​ The PTF has however continued to study the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) and we note that it has been on a steady decline over the last few months.

​April 30: 3%

​May 31: 2.8%

​June 30: 2.3%

​July 31: 2.0%

​Aug 22: 1.92%

We are, however, convinced that our sample collection is still low. We, therefore, encourage states to ramp up their testing and to declare correct results because early detection will ultimately translate to treatment and ultimately levelling of the curve.

4.​ With our statistics standing at CASES: 52,227, FATALITIES: 1,002, and RECOVERIES: 38,945, however, Nigeria maintains the 4th highest cumulative cases in the continent. Sadly, the global cases have increased by another one million from 22.5 million on 19th to the current 23.5 million in about 4 days.

​The PTF has already informed you about the plans to reopen the international airspace for flights in a manner that will promote safety, security and economic recovery. The National Coordinator will be updating you on the protocols during this briefing. We have been working with other sectors to develop appropriate protocols.
6.​ Prior to the reopening of the airspace, the PTF had put in place Point of Entry Protocols to minimise importation. Unfortunately, the validation process for the pre-boarding PCR test has shown that 64% of the recent spike in the number of confirmed cases in Lagos (404) on Saturday 22nd August came from the evacuees.

7.​ Over the weekend, 252 additional Nigerians were evacuated from the United Arab Emirates which has brought the total number of Nigerians that have returned home to 4,984. We shall intensify the validation process for the PCR tests to minimise risks.

​The WHO has provided guidance on the use of masks for children 11 years and above in the context of COVID-19 as it relates to the community. However, Children with immune-compromised conditions are advised to wear mask irrespective of age.
This guidance is strongly recommended for observance and the PTF shall update you as soon as it is revised by the WHO.

​This morning we received the unfortunate news of the positive status of Prof. Akin Abayomi, the Lagos State Commissioner for Health. This has saddened the PTF as the Commissioner has been foremost in the fight against COVID-19.
We wish him and all other frontline workers that have risked their lives but contracted the virus in the process, safe and speedy recovery.

​This unexpected news is a grim reminder that the virus is no respecter of persons or the positions they hold. Everyone is at risk and we must take responsibility.
What the announcement of Prof. Abayomi has shown is that stigmatisation has no place in our national response and that COVID-19 is not a death sentence. We, therefore, thank all those that have come out to announce their status and/or tell their stories and we urge Nigerians to take a queue to eliminate disbelief and scepticism.

​Let’s keep arming the unbreakable Nigerian spirit to win this war and drive the virus out of our land. Join the hashtag #MaskOnNaija National awareness campaign.
​I now call on the Honourable Minister of Health, DG, NCDC, and the National Coordinator to provide us with necessary updates.
13.​I thank you so much for your attention and have a good evening.


#Newsworthy…

Aug 25: Evacuation flights set to end – PTF

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The Nigerian Government has concluded plans to end evacuation flights following the repatriation of thousands of citizens stranded in various parts of the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Boss Mustapha, who is the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, disclosed this to reporters on Monday in Abuja.

“We wish to state that all evacuation flights will end on August 25, 2020, after which airports will be given sufficient time to prepare for reopening,” he said.

Following the outbreak of the disease which brought the world on its knees, thousands of Nigerians trapped abroad had indicated their interest to return home.

While some of those seeking to be evacuated had travelled for holiday, business, and education purposes, others left Nigeria in search of greener pastures but only got to the foreign land to become victims of human traffickers.

In the last few months, the Federal Government had partnered some groups and organisations to evacuate its citizens back home.

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Away from the evacuation of stranded persons, Mustapha who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) commended the level of compliance with the COVID-19 protocols in various schools.

PTF chairman, Boss Mustapha, briefs reporters in Abuja on August 17, 2020. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

This comes as students in Senior Secondary School 3 classes begin the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) administered by the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

“Today, the Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) examinations commenced all over the country, like in other West African States, and the PTF is happy to note the high level of compliance with the protocols for the re-opening of exit classes,” the PTF chairman stated.

He added, “It is in this light that we appreciate the call by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) for the reopening of tertiary institutions.

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“As a listening government, we wish to state that education is topmost on the priority list and the reopening of our institutions remain critical, within set safety parameters.”

Mustapha, however, decried that while a good number of Nigerians were sharing their experiences with the coronavirus and encouraging others to take responsibility, a few others were bent on spreading misleading information.

He stressed that the war against COVID-19 would only be won when the people take responsibility individually and collectively.

The SGF urged Nigerians to continue to comply with the measures, wear their face masks properly, wash their hands regularly, stay away from crowds, maintain social distancing, and join the campaign to curb the virus.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: We won’t allow our economy fall – PTF says.

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The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has called on Nigerians to take advantage of the Federal Government’s effort to cushion the effect of the pandemic on the nation’s economy and the people.

The PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, made the call on Thursday at the briefing of the task force in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He noted that the United Kingdom hinted that it would be going into a recession after its economy suffered a slump in growth by a record 20 per cent in the second quarter.

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Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said the Nigerian Government had put in place an Economic Sustainability Plan to prevent such occurrence.

He explained that the plan was backed by a stimulus package in the sum of N2.6 trillion to boost local economies and production, for all sizes of businesses, including small family businesses.

The PTF chairman believes it is important for businesses in the country to take advantage of the stimulus package to revive their businesses and give them a boost.

Giving an update on the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria, he noted that the country has reported fewer numbers of confirmed cases in the last two weeks.

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Mustapha, however, warned that the reports should not be misconstrued as a victory over the virus.

According to him, there is still a serious battle to be fought ahead as a country and it is that the nation continues to build on the successes recorded so far.

PTF Chairman, Boss Mustapha, speaking at a press briefing in Abuja on August 13, 2020. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

The SGF also gave an update on the ongoing exercise to evacuate Nigerians stranded in various countries as a result of the pandemic.

He revealed that a total of 14,906 people have been evacuated during the COVID-19 pandemic and almost 80 per cent of them were youths.

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Mustapha added that 13,844 of the returnees had taken the COVID-19 test so far and the results of 684 people came back positive.

Read the full text of the PTF chairman’s remarks at the briefing below:

REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERATION/CHAIRMAN OF THE PTF-COVID-19 AT THE NATIONAL PRESS BRIEFING OF THURSDAY, 13th AUGUST, 2020

I welcome you all to the National Briefing by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 for Thursday, 13th August 2020.

The country has effectively entered the second week of the extended eased lockdown phase and the PTF continues to monitor global and national trends in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Globally, the world continues to pursue the search for a vaccine with over 1000 trials on-going and different claims of levels of success. We note particularly, the announcement by the President of Russia on the breakthrough in the development of a vaccine even as we study the developments.

Fighting the pandemic successfully will take a global effort and Nigeria will not be left out whenever and wherever progress is made. However, the health and safety of Nigerians will always remain our priority in the pursuit of a solution.

For us in Nigeria, we shall remain focused on propagating the use of proven avoidance methods to break the transmission of the virus and effective case management to care for and treat infected persons.

The ravaging effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy should provide more compelling reasons for us all to leave no stone unturned in fighting this pandemic.

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This week, the United Kingdom would be going into a recession after its economy suffered a slump in growth by a record 20% in the second quarter.

I wish to remind all Nigerians that ahead of such occurrence, our Government had put in place an Economic Sustainability Plan backed by a stimulus package in the sum of N2.6 trillion to boost local economies, production and for all sizes of businesses including small family businesses.

I, therefore, urge our businesses to take advantage of the stimulus package to revive and/or boost their businesses. We cannot afford to let our economy slide.

The PTF wishes to note as we have done before that fewer numbers of confirmed cases have been recorded in the last two weeks. This should never be misconstrued as a victory over the virus.

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There is still a serious battle to be fought ahead of us as a people and as a country. It is, important, therefore, that we continue to build on our successes and not do anything to detract from them.

Our Risk Communication and Community Engagement messaging and consultations have been intensified, to drive the level of awareness and compliance to the wider population using media and platforms that are most effective generally and specifically.

We wish to appeal to all Nigerians to exercise caution and restraint at all times. I wish to note however that from the reports for yesterday 12th August 2020 no fatality was recorded.

The PTF is pleased to associate with the celebration of International Youth Day 2020 under the theme “Youth Engagement for Global Action” which seeks to recognize the immense contributions and role of young people in achieving sustainable peace and development across all levels.

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Implicit in this is the need to galvanise engagement of youths to significantly enhance peacebuilding to promote social cohesion in this era of social distancing and collective fight in containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PTF appreciates all our young people who have stepped out and are contributing to the fight against the pandemic and implore others yet to do so, to join this fight with all the necessary passion their youthful energy can bring to bear. I am sure that our risk communication and community engagement strategy would gain a lot of mileage if the various youth organisations and the youths themselves heed this call.

It might interest you to note that of the 14,906 evacuees received during this COVID-19 pandemic, close to 80% are youths for which we are glad that only 684 tested positive to the coronavirus out of the 13,844 so far tested.

In the coming days, we hope to receive more evacuees from different parts of the world. The National Coordinator will elaborate on this.

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In the course of the week, the United States of America made good the promise made by President Donald Trump to donate medical equipment, including 200 ventilators to Nigeria as a support in the fight against the COVID-19.

Nigeria recognises the fact that the pandemic is a global challenge and particularly, it has impacted the United States of America in several ways, yet the bond of friendship has prevailed.

This sacrifice and support to Nigeria is very much appreciated. I want to assure the Government and people of the United States that these ventilators, like other materials received from our various partners, would be judiciously deployed and transparently managed.

I now call on the Honourable Minister of Health, DG, NCDC, and the National Coordinator to provide us with technical updates.

I thank you so much for your attention and have a good evening.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Buhari ‘yes’ extension of eased lockdown by four weeks

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension of the second phase of the eased lockdown for another four weeks.

This extension is the third for the second phase of lockdown currently observed across the country.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 disclosed this during the Task Force briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

The task force had met with President Buhari on Wednesday and briefed him on the progress made so far in containing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping citizens safe from contracting the virus.

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Boss Mustapha while addressing newsmen today noted that the PTF made some recommendations to the president and the extension of the current ease of lockdown was one of the inferences approved.

The PTF chairman further disclosed that to sustain gains already made in the last few weeks, the task force recommended to President Buhari to retain the current phase of the response, with minor changes to address economic, socio-political, and health concerns.

According to him, the major changes being proposed are aimed at achieving the gradual re-opening of international air flights within established parameters. re-opening of rail transportation within established parameters, and the granting of permissions to exit classes to resume ahead of examinations.

Under the revised guidelines of the eased lockdown which will be maintained in the next four weeks, the current nationwide curfew from 10pm- 6am still stands.

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Also, meetings for government officials and parastatals will continue to hold virtually.

While the ban on entertainment centers will be maintained, restrictions on recreational parks have been lifted for non-contact physical activities.

Passengers arriving for domestic flights can now arrive at least an hour and a half before flight, and three hours before the flight for international travelers.

The SGF however, reemphasized the need for everyone to take responsibility, and stop the stigmatization of persons who have contracted, been treated, and have been certified negative for COVID-19.


#Newsworthy..

COVID-19: PTF warns against mass gathering amid Sallah celebration

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has called on Nigerians to continue to comply with the measures put in place to curb the spread of coronavirus in the country.

PTF National Coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, made the call on Monday at the briefing of the task force in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, he specifically urged Muslims to remember that the COVID-19 protocols remain in force.

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Aliyu asked them to avoid mass gatherings during Sallah and observe social distancing while observing the Eid prayers.

He called on clerics not to allow people into the mosques without face masks and ensure that the total duration for prayers, including sermons, should not exceed one hour.

The national coordinator also appealed to people who feel unwell or show symptoms of COVID-19 to stay at home to support measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.

More story to follow…


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: PTF yes Abuja, Lagos Airports reopening

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, yesterday, okayed both the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, for resumption of local commercial flight operations.

The team, following an inspection tour of the two facilities, expressed satisfaction with the level of preparedness for their reopening scheduled to be announced soon.

In a related development, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has hinted that airlines and other operators in the industry would get the proposed government bailout this week.

Shortly after inspecting the Abuja Airport, members of the Taskforce on COVID-19 arrived the Lagos Airport aboard an Aero Contractor’s test flight at noon, to assess the level of preparedness at the General Aviation Terminal (GAT).

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Besides Sirika, others in the team were the National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr. Sani Aliyu, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnibe Mamora, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and Minister of State for Education, Nwajuba, among others.

They inspected both the departure and arrival areas of the airports to assess the social distancing measures put in place. The boarding and waiting areas were clearly marked for passengers to observe social distancing, while the toilets have automatic hand washing points.

Similarly, automatic sanitiser dispensers were provided at every point of the boarding, just as there are automatic temperature screening points.

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Sirika, who did not specify when the airports would reopen for commercial flights, said he was 90 to 95 per cent satisfied with what was on ground.

He said the only thing left to be done at the airport was the surface cleaning and installation of baggage spray machines, which he said were ready.

He said: “Once we start, all the physical distancing measures would be observed. The markings in Lagos are as much as we have in Abuja. I’m not 100 per cent satisfied, but I am 90 per cent satisfied. Why did I say so? Because we have clearly marked our airports in Lagos and Abuja. We have trained our staff to ensure physical distancing. We have provided COVID-19 compliant toilets. We have provided hand sanitisers and guided people efficiently. We reduced the amount of people the Co-Bus will take.

“So, we have done everything humanly possible to ensure that people keep physical distancing and they wear their mask. So, I am very satisfied and happy.

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“I think once we are good to go, we are good to go. You know there are two components of it: The health and safety components. This thing is not as easy as you think. I don’t want to give a date, but I am sure we are getting there,” Sirika said.

On palliatives, the minister said with the cooperation of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance, the amount of the palliative due to operators would be announced soon.

Aliyu also expressed satisfaction with the level of preparation by the aviation sector to restart, saying the stakeholders had done very well.

On his part, Mamora said compliance is critical and government might be compelled to enforce compliance.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: PMB receives brief from PTF.


Members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Sunday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the pandemic situation in Nigeria and other measures taken by government at all levels to check the spread of the virus in the country.

The Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, had told journalists on Thursday that the PTF would brief the president on how the national response had progressed in the last two weeks.

Nigeria is in the second phase of the gradual relaxation of the COVID-19 lockdown in some parts of the country.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), led the team comprising the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehinare, the Director-General of Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, and National Coordinator of the PTF on COVID-19, Dr. Aliyu Sani, to the president.

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Nigeria currently has 9,855 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 273 fatalities.

However, 2,856 persons have been discharged from various isolation facilities across the country.


#Newsworthy…

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€170K: We don’t know Madagascar’s anti-COVID-19 drug would be so cost – FG, PTF.


Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 pandemic, Boss Mustapha, has said he was not aware of any cost paid for the Madagascar herbal mixture.

Mustapha was responding to a question on reports that Nigeria had been asked to pay €170,000 for the Madagascar herbal mixture delivered to President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday by the visiting President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embalo.

He said he had taken delivery of the solution sent to Nigeria as well as other African countries by Madagascar without request without any invoice.

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“In terms of the question of whether it comes with a cost. It was handed to me without an invoice so I assume it doesn’t come with a cost.

“That’s my assumption. For that, I think the Madagascar issue and the Chinese issue should be laid to rest.

Also Read;

WHO has offered us $20M to posion Anti-COVID-19 drink – Madagascar’s president.

“I think we have said repeatedly hear that we did not ask for the Madagascar consignment, it was given by the government of Madagascar to African countries as their contribution to wanting to find solution to the COVID-19 pandemic and we have repeatedly said our consignment and those of West African countries, was dropped off at Guinea Bissau and that we were making arrangements to go and airlift it.

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“As God would have it, the President of Guinea Bissau decided to visit our President last Saturday and when he was coming, he came with our consignment of five cartons and those five cartons were delivered to me yesterday in the evening, sealed, without a bottle out of it.

“I’m going to engage the Minister of Health who has the responsibility of validation, through his institutions that are chartered by law to do that.

“The President was upfront with that even when he took delivery of it from the President of Guinea Bissau.

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“He said it quite clear of what we are going to do with the consignment would be guided by science, under the processes of validation, we’ll now know where to go”, he said.

The SGF, however charged Nigerians to learn what he described as the biggest lesson the COVID-19 pandemic had foisted on humanity, which he said was the fact that it had exposed the weaknesses in all systems of the world, even of the so-called superpowers.

He noted that it would be a mistake for Nigerians to desire to go back to their old ways, saying “if we do not learn anything from COVID-19 and build institutions that will be enduring and sustainable, we would have failed the next generation.

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“Life after COVID-19 will not be our normal type of life again. COVID-19 has come and it has disrupted everything you know as normal and the benefit of that distraction is that we will begin to put on our thinking cap and begin to address issues differently because it has exposed the weaknesses in all systems.

“It’s not only the Nigeria system that has been exposed, even the big countries with very big economies, COVID-19 has exposed every gap in their systems; their system of health, their social safety nets, their governance issues have all been disrupted and I can assure you that after COVID-19, at the individual level, at the community level, at the state level, at the national level, we will begin to do things differently. It cannot be business as usual again,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: PTF increase gradual lockdown ease by 2 weeks.


The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has extended the gradual easing of the lockdown by two weeks.

The PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, announced this on Monday during the briefing of the members of the task force in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He said, “The reality is that in spite of the modest progress made, Nigeria is not yet ready for full opening of the economy and tough decisions have to be taken for the good of the greater majority.

“Any relaxation will only portend grave danger for our populace. Advisedly, the current phase of eased restriction will be maintained for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued.”

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Mustapha explained that the extension of the first phase of the lockdown ease was to enable other segments of the economy to prepare adequately for compliance with the guidelines, preparatory to reopening in the coming weeks.

According to him, the PTF shares the pains of Nigerians but the future of the country is in their hands and subsequent decisions will depend greatly on their compliance.

The PTF chairman also disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved some recommendations of the task force.

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He said, “​The measures, exemptions, advisories, and scope of entities allowed to reopen under phase one of the eased locked down, shall be maintained across the federation for another two weeks effective from 12 midnight of May 18 to June 1.”

Other recommendations approved by the President include ​intensifying efforts to communicate, identify, and manage COVID-19 cases; and ​elevating the level of community ownership of non-pharmaceutical interventions.

The lockdown order in Kano State, according to the SGF, has also been extended by another two weeks.

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He noted that the President had announced a phased and gradual easing of the lockdown in Lagos and Ogun States, as well as the Federal Capital Territory in his nationwide broadcast on April 27.

Mustapha added that the President also highlighted the additional nationwide measures aimed at ensuring that the nation’s economy continued to function within the limiting constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.


#Newsworthy…

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PTF speaks on when Banks should resume work amid lockdown ease.

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The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has announced that government offices and banks can resume operations from Monday the 4th of May.

This follows the approval of a phased easing of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the Federal Capital Territory, by President Muhammadu Buhari, to allow for the restoration of socio-economic activities.

However, there would be a 6:00 am to 8:00 pm curfew to regulate the movement of people.

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Giving a breakdown of how the easing of the lockdown will be implemented, the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Aliyu Sani, during Wednesday’s briefing, said all government offices and banks can resume operations from Monday.

“For government offices, staff will be allowed to resume from the 4th of May but it will be based on specific grade levels and specific days, so that we can reduce the amount of congestion that we might have in the offices,” he said.

For financial institutions such as banks, the PTF coordinator noted that they will be allowed to open but only between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm, while also ensuring that staff and customers adhere to the hygiene and social distancing measures.

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Aliyu stressed that the easing of the lockdown is actually just a shift from one set of interventions to another.

“The most important thing I want to emphasize is, even though we talk about easing the lockdown, in actual fact, we are not really easing, we are just shifting from one set of interventions to another because we are really still far from controlling this epidemic,” he said.

For general movements outside the curfew periods, the PTF coordinator said: “people may go out for work, to buy necessary food and for exercise but we strongly advise persons to restrict themselves to their local government areas except for those that live in metropolitan areas”.

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Interstate travel, according to him, will be restricted to only those involved in the supply chain and services such as goods, agricultural products, petroleum products, courier services and relief items etc.

On the other hand, for intrastate movement, services and businesses were advised to provide hand sanitizers for customers.

The general public was also advised to imbibe the use of face masks and other hygiene measures.

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On the issue of mass gatherings, Aliyu said there shall be no gatherings of more than 20 persons anywhere per time so as to ensure adherence to physical distancing.

For the manufacturing sector, “we encourage shift work for manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies and limiting staff to only 30-50% to maintain physical distancing and pharmacy shops may remain open overnight,” he said.

Restaurants have been asked not open to the public but will be allowed to engage in home deliveries of food items.

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While partial operations will be allowed for the above sectors, academic institutions were, however, advised to remain closed until further evaluation is done.

“Schools are encouraged to continue with e-learning and virtual teaching”, the PTF coordinator added.


#Newsworthy…

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