I feel your pains — Buhari tells Nigerians

He assured that palliatives would be provided, and impacts of interventions would continually be re-evaluated.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

/ by National Pivot

President Muhammadu Buhari was yesterday, expected to address Nigerians on the administration's progress in the fight against covid-19, and steps to be taken to gradually ease the lockdown so economic activities can gradually pick up across the country. But he never did, in person though.

According to Buhari's Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, no presidential broadcast was planned, but that the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, has been empowered to brief Nigerians on the administration's next step, during its 33rd joint national briefings.

The SGF at the Taskforce's briefing on Monday, announced the extension of the current phase of eased restriction for another two weeks until June 1, so the country will be effectively prepared for a further ease of the lockdown.

Mustapha also said that the reality is that in spite of the modest progress made, any further relaxation will only portend grave danger for our populace. He however, encourage Nigerians to endure the pains and inconveniences caused by the lockdown as efforts are being made to rid the country of the disease.

“Any relaxation will only portend grave danger for our populace. Advisedly, the current phase of eased restriction will be maintained for another two weeks during which stricter enforcement and persuasion measures will be pursued,” he said.

“Based on the recommendations of the PTF, Mr. President has approved the measures, exemptions, advisories and scope of entities allowed to reopen under phase one of the eased locked down, shall be maintained across the federation for another two weeks effective from 12.00 midnight today (18th May, 2020 to 1st June, 2020);

“intensifying efforts to “tell (communicate), trace (identify) and treat (manage)’ cases; elevating the level of community ownership of non-pharmaceutical interventions; maintain the existing lockdown order in Kano for an additional two weeks;

“Imposition of precision lockdown in states, or in metropolitan/high-burden LGAs, that are reporting a rapidly increasing number of cases, when the need arises.”

The PTF Chairman said this would be complemented with the provision of palliatives and continued re-evaluation of the impact of the interventions; and aggressive scale up of efforts to ensure that communities are informed, engaged and participating in the response with enhanced public awareness in high risk states.

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