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PTF mulls lockdown in FCT, Lagos, Plateau

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… Urges regular temperature checks in markets

THE Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has charged market authorities to ensure temperature checks before buyers and sellers transact businesses at the various markets scattered all over the country.

  PTF National Incident Manager, Mukhtar Muhammed, stated this today on a television programme in Abuja.

  According to him, market leaders must take responsibility and ensure traders and buyers comply with COVID-19 protocols including the use of face masks, social distancing and washing of hands at market places.

  “We want economic activities to continue but this has to be in a regulated fashion where there won’t be increased risk for people transacting their businesses. We would want to see a market where before you enter the market, there is somebody stationed there to measure your body temperature. And if your temperature is above 38 degrees, you will be turned back and advised to seek assistance or linked directly to where you will have a test done.

If your temperature is negative, then, they will also ensure that you have a face mask which is actually the first step – if you. We also envision to see where the market authorities themselves become responsible and ensure that all these measures are put in place and people that are not complying are quickly refuted or taken out of the market place.

We also want to see the law enforcement agencies working side by side with the necessary stakeholders –the association of the market regulators to ensure that these protocols are complied with. Not only the markets but all public places, the supermarkets, parks, event centres and so on and so forth,” Muhammed said.

  The disregard for COVID-19 protocols at the market places has been going on since Nigeria recorded its index case of the virus in February 2020.

  Health experts have also attributed the spread of the virus in the country to the non-compliance of the preventive measures by market users.

  Similarly, Muhammed hinted that federal government is mulling on another lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Plateau States, while describing COVID-19 infection rates as alarming in the three areas.

  Muhammed said data showed that urban local governments in the affected places recorded the highest cases of Covid amid the second wave of the pandemic in Nigeria. According to data by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Lagos (46,935 cases), Abuja (16,470 cases), Plateau (7,801) have recorded the highest number of Covid infections and fatalities in Nigeria in the last eleven months.

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