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Coronavirus: Federal Govt announces increased relaxation decisions

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Restrictions placed on worship centres as part of measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 have been lifted on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, made this known at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing. The relaxation which will span for a period of four weeks will be effective from June 2 to June 29. He said this decision will be reviewed on the four weeks completion. “The PTF submitted its recommendations and the PRESIDENT has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd – 29th June, 2020, subject to review.

THE SECOND PHASE OF NATIONAL RESPONSE: The SGF stressed a long-held position by the PTF that the states governments will take responsibility for the next phase of the lockdown relaxation. Mustapha said that the next phase will be the responsibility of the states under national supervision and coordination because Nigeria has gone into community transmission. It is the thinking of the federal government that communities are in the states, and, therefore,  states will feature more prominently in the next phase alongside local government areas, the traditional institutions, religious leaders at the different levels of the communities because that is where the problem is. He further stated that the states are sub-nationals, they have their own responsibilities too, so it is in the exercise of those responsibilities that they had meetings with religious bodies and agreed on the guidelines and protocols on how they open up.

States have the responsibility for meeting with religious bodies and to agree on the protocols and guidelines on how to open up. However, the federal government is also looking into the framework of the national response. Mustapha explained that 20 Local governments out of 774 accounts for 60 percent of confirmed cases in Nigeria today and these 20 local governments are in communities. Meanwhile, Nigeria coronavirus cases has hit 10,162. Nigeria is only behind South Africa (32,683 cases) and Egypt (24,985 cases).