President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reopening of faculties for college kids of graduating classes.
Schools are closed since March 2020 as part of a bigger shutdown measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID) which has infected 24,567 people and killed 565, as of June 28.
Much of the country was in lockdown from March till early May when the government started lifting restrictions in phases.
The chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, announced on Monday, Saints Peter and Paul that Buhari approved the committee’s recommendation to increase the present second phase of eased lockdown by another four weeks till July 27.
The president however further eased some additional restrictions including approving the resumption of scholars of graduating classes (Primary 6, JSS 3, and SS 3) in preparation for examinations.
Other classes remain closed for further evaluation with schools, including tertiary institutions, encouraged to continue with e-learning and visual teaching. President Buhari has also lifted the ban on the interstate movement that has been in place nationwide since the beginning of May.
Mustapha said the interstate travel ban was lifted because it was not working and created a side business for state and non-state agents who were taking advantage of allowing movement to continue illegally.
“People were paying so much to embark on those unnecessary illegal trips,” he lamented.
Drivers are directed to only fill 50% of their vehicles’ capacity during travels set to resume from July 1. Movement across state boundaries is allowed only outside of curfew hours of 10 pm to 4 am.
The PTF’s national coordinator, Sani Aliyu, said safety protocols and guidelines are going to be released later specifically in reference to motor parks and terminals.
Guidelines include disinfection and sensitization, social distancing in waiting areas, posting of notices on the conduct of persons, temperature checks, wearing of face masks, and control measures.
Domestic aviation service also will resume as soon as “practicable in line with existing international and native guidelines on COVID-19” consistent with the new measures announced on Monday.
Aliyu said parks, gyms, cinemas, event centers, and night clubs remain closed, but personalized services like mechanics, artisans, etc, that own their workstations and may adhere to non-pharmaceutical interventions are allowed to continue operations.
The national coordinator also said the utilization of face masks remains mandatory publicly places.
“Access to government and commercial premises won’t be allowed if you are not wearing a mask,” he said.
Mustapha said the extension of phase two is required to consolidate within the areas of the economy that have restarted and to make sure better compliance with a health-based response.
He said states and native governments also will be supported in their response to the disease, while the government also strikes a balance between saving lives also as protecting the livelihoods of citizens.