Covid-19: FG suspends FEC meeting, orders land border closure for four weeks

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Following the increasing cases of the dreaded Coronavirus disease otherwise known as Covid-19, the Federal Government has announced the suspension of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) Meeting until further notice.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 Pandemic, Mr. Boss Mustapha who made this known in a press conference at Abuja yesterday also announced the postponement of the meeting of Council of State earlier scheduled to hold on Thursday 26th March, 2020 at Abuja.

He informed that all land borders which hitherto had been under partial closure should now be closed for human traffic for four weeks with effect from 23rd March, 2020.

According to him, “In order to protect Federal Civil and Public Servants, a circular ​​to be issued by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation ​​(HCSF) shall direct on actions to be taken immediately; If and when the need arises, any national assets required for ​​use in the response to COVID-19 shall be mobilized and ​​​deployed.

“Federal Government is at the highest level, engaging with ​​State Governors in order to ensure a collaborative and ​​​effective response to COVID-19 Pandemic and all Abuja and Lagos residents are strongly advised to stay at ​​home, avoid mass congregation of any kind as well as non-​essential outings, until further advice is given.

“Finally, the PTF assures all Nigerians of the concerns of Mr. President and his determination to mobilize all resources to backup this national response. However, this commitment should be reciprocated by all citizens by respecting the advisory and obeying measures put in place to curtail the spread of COVID-19.  The Presidential Task Force (PTF) shall be updating Nigerians from time to time when the need arise.”

The SGF recalled that a number of advisories had been issued and measures taken adding that part of the measures being taken presently include the following: escalating the nation’s capacity for testing and detection ​​​through the acquisition of more testing kits and ​​​​establishment of additional test centres; acquisition of personnel protection equipment (PPE) for ​​​different categories of frontline personnel; enhancing contact tracking and deepening awareness creation.

Other according to him include; mobilization of experts and trained personnel whether in ​​​service or retired; introduction of social distancing policies and banning mass ​​gathering of over fifty (50) persons; closure of schools and tertiary institutions; the total ban on international travels shall commence at 12.00 ​​midnight tonight (last night) at all our airports and ​leaders of different faiths have been encouraged to restrict ​​services and activities that involve mass gathering of more ​​than ​fifty of their adherents. State governments are also ​​​enforcing this policy at different levels.

He however commended Nigerians for stepping out to report and/or make enquires through the dedicated hotlines noting that records showed that on Sunday, 22nd March, 2020, over 4,500 calls were received which he said showed the high level of awareness amongst Nigerians.

“The strategy of government is to focus on testing, detection and containment through contact tracking in order to minimize hugely, the possibility of community spread.  We urge anyone experiencing the symptoms of the virus or has been in contact with anyone who has been suspected or tested positive to please report at the nearest medical facility or the designated center.

“The Presidential Task Force (PTF) continues to monitor the global and domestic developments and has isolated Lagos and Abuja for particular attention in view of their population, mobility and number of cases already reported”, he added.

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