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FG extends eased COVID-19 lockdown by four weeks

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FEDERAL government 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 with the approval of President Muhammadu.

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

According to him, the task force had met with Buhari on Wednesday and briefed him on the progress made so far in containing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping citizens safe from more infection.

Mustapha 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.

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.

Also, meetings for government officials and parastatals will continue to hold virtually while ban on entertainment centres will be maintained and restrictions on recreational parks lifted for non-contact physical activities.

He, however, re-emphasised need for everyone to take responsibility and stop stigmatisation of persons who have contracted but treated and certified negative for COVID-19.

In a related development, federal government has begun the process of restarting international flights.

In a briefing on Thursday by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 National Coordinator of PTF, Sani Aliyu, said approvals have been given for aviation authorities to commence the process for the resumption of international flights.

According to him, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other aviation agencies, as well as airlines, are to come up with a safe process through which international airlines can commence operations.

“For international travel, we have made recommendations to the aviation industry to commence the process for reopening international airports provided all existing international and local COVID-19 protocols are in place. We have modified the protocol for passenger arrivals at the airports. Domestic passengers arriving at the airports are advised to arrive one hour before their flights and three hours before international flights when this restarts,” Aliyu stated.

Similarly, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has clarified the restriction of international flights into the country.

Director of Public Affairs of NCA, James Odaudu, disclosed this in a statement on yesterday.

According to the agency, these include aircraft in a state of emergency, overflights, and operations related to humanitarian services, as well as medical and relief services.

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