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FG Warns States Against Reopening Schools

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The Federal Government has warned states against reopening schools and other activities of mass gatherings ahead of proposed relaxation of measures taken to curb the spread of Coronavirus in the country.

The secretary to the government of the federation and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha gave the warning during the daily COVID-19 briefing in Abuja on Monday, June 15, 2020.

He insisted that the country is not yet ready for total ease of lockdown restrictions proposed by some states.

This warning comes after Cross River state announced that schools were scheduled to resume on June 16.

Mustapha said, “We have received reports that some states are contemplating the reopening of schools, television viewing centres, sports stadium and other places where large gatherings could take place.

“The PTF re-emphasises that it is not yet safe to do so and that utmost caution should be exercised. The PTF guideline should still be complied with while considering decision of this nature.

“In the course of our monitoring and surveillance of compliance across the nation, we have observed an escalation of the level of non-compliance with simple measure to keep social distancing, wearing of masks in public places, sanitation and hygiene.

“This is more prevalent in markets, motor parks and some places of worship. I wish to remind you that the PTF has already issued guidelines for mode of operations at places of worship and urge state Governments to ensure strict compliance with PTF guidelines.

“We wish to re-emphasise that all relaxed measures are still subject to review and advisories issued are for personal and public safety purposes. The breach of the ban on inter-state travels is also a point of concern.”

“We however urge Nigerians not to panic but to cooperate with public health officials especially where community testing is on-going.

“Since the beginning of our multi-sectoral national response, we have described medical personnel as our frontline workers. We also continuously pleaded with Nigerians to take responsibility.

“The reality today is that the table has turned and the community spread phase has suddenly made the health workers our last line of defence.”

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