Worried about the surge in infections, President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the mandate of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 till March 31, 2021
He said Nigeria could not afford to lose the gains of the past nine months.
“The nation is clearly in a perilous situation given the virulent nature of this second wave, and we must act decisively to protect our people. I, therefore, urge all sub-national entities, traditional rulers, religious and leaders of thought to collaborate with the PTF by taking up the responsibility for risk communication and community engagement at all levels. Now is the time for collective efforts to be intensified,” Buhari added.
PTF chairman and Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, and other members had yesterday, submitted the task force’s end-of-year report to the Nigerian leader at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Buhari said the decision was also reinforced by the bid for vaccines, imploring the panel to coordinate the planning and delivery of the therapy using existing structures.
He equally ordered the team to engage with states for them to assume full ownership of this stage of response by deploying legal frameworks and resources, including enforcement to manage the pandemic within their jurisdictions.
It noted that the order has become necessary to streamline the number of officers that come to work daily, as the affected workers are to work from home.
The document added that in reporting for duty, officers on GL13 and above are to adhere to existing preventive measures, consisting of physical distancing, regular washing and /or sanitising of hands, wearing of face masks, and reduction in the number of visitors.
The document noted: “Furthermore, in line with the prescription of the PTF, virtual meetings are to be encouraged in offices with a view to minimising physical contact. In addition, permanent secretaries and chief executive officers are expected to sustain the provision and use of necessary amenities in compliance with the existing guidelines on prevention of the spread of the pandemic.”
It directed security officers to scan workers for compliance.
He further directed the PTF and the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure all inbound passengers, who avoided the post-arrival COVID-19 test, were sanctioned within the ambit of the law.
IN the meantime, the Federal Government has directed officers on grade levels 12 and below to stay at home for five weeks beginning from today in deference to the stay-at-home advisory of the PTF.
The directive was contained in a statement issued yesterday by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, in Abuja.
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