COVID-19: Buhari might extend the lockdown or not ― Presidential taskforce boss
The taskforce on COVID-19 inaugurated by the president, has said only President Muhammadu Buhari can decide if the lockdown of Ogun, Lagos and Abuja will extend further or not.
Furthermore, remember that the president a week ago ordered the total lockdown in these states for 14 days to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.
Boss Mustapha, the secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19,
revealed this on Tuesday during a briefing with the state House Correspondents in Lagos House, Marina, after he inspected the isolation centres in the state.
Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu accompanied by the taskforce, had inspected the isolation facilities earlier on at:
Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos Island, Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, IDH, Yaba,
Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH, Idi-Araba and Gbagada General Hospital, Isolation Centre, Gbagada.
Furthermore, with them Alhaji Lai Muhammed, Minister for Information and Culture, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health and Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior Affairs
According to Mustapha he stated:
“Basically, this is part of the consultation, we are looking at the objectives that were set when
the lockdown and quarantine declaration, 2020, was signed by the president and subsequently by other state.
“Before the end of the week we will do an evaluation and see how the objective that were set are being met.
‘’At the end of that exercise we will have the responsibility of reporting back to Mr. President.
The President did say the declaration was on the advice of Minister of Health and experts
that informed his decision in signing of the quarantine declaration 2020.
“At the end of our valuation, our advice and recommendation will be presented to Mr. President
and at that point he and he alone can take that decision when the lockdown would either be extended or it will stop at the expiration of 14 days.
“In his address to the nation he did say 14 days in the first instance, so it is open,
it is based on what has happened within this 14 days, have they been met, have they satisfied the objectives, has it gone in the direction we wanted it go.
“If that has been achieved, he will look at all the information available to him as the president of Nigeria
and i can assure you that he will take a decision that is in the best interest of the people of Nigeria”, Mustapha said.
Earlier, Mustapha mentioned in a briefing that they were in Lagos to inspect facilities which were put in place by the government for the COVID-19 control.
Also, he gave assurance to all Nigerians of the commitment of the president in fighting this virus and the president readiness to provide resources towards this goal.
Furthermore, Mustapha mentioned the government do not want to punish citizens by having their movement restricted, rather the government wants to protect them.
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“Reports received on the general level of satisfactory compliance in Lagos
with the lockdown order and we have similarly received reports of violations.
In this case, I commend the instant action taken by the Lagos State Government by
prosecuting and convicting notable violators, which shows that nobody should be above the law.
“In recognition of the impact of the lockdown order on the poor, physically challenged,
the elderly and the vulnerable, Mr. President approved the release of 70,000 metric tons of grains from the strategic grains reserve.
Out of this, about 6,800 will be distributed in Lagos, Ogun and FCT while the rest will
distributed to the 13 frontline states that have recorded cases of the COVID-19 disease.
I assure you that the distribution of the Lagos state share will commence shortly.
“Mr. President has similarly approved the payment of 2 months Conditional Cash Transfer to 2.6 million poor and vulnerable already registered in the social safety net program.
On behalf of Mr. President, I wish to commend the government of Lagos State magnificently controlling the pandemic and
for putting in place isolation centers, ICU facilities as well as establishing a wide network of contact tracing,” he said.
Mustapha stressed that the nation was at war with an unseen but very potent enemy and that to successfully prosecute the war,
“we must own it, we must participate in it, we must create awareness, we must obey rules and regulations,
we must stay at home when ordered and we must not conceal any information from the medical and disease control authorities.
“One person who is infected in a community can endanger the entire community regardless of its size and status or position of the people living there.
Coronavirus is real and dangerous. Let me appeal to Lagosians, indeed, all Nigerians to play our roles in defeating Coronavirus.
“To win the war, we must abide by instructions to stay-at-home,
maintain social distancing, personal hygiene and report all suspected cases to the designated health authorities.”
He however, commanded efforts of the Lagos State Government towards
curtailing the ravaging pandemic, saying, “Lagos is doing a great job” on containment.
Mustapha, therefore, urged residents of the state to continue to give government necessary support in the fight against COVID-19 inorder to kick it out of the country.
“Thank you for the great job that you’re doing in supporting the work
that is being undertaken by His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State and his team.
“We’ve just taken a tour of this facilities that is very important place in anticipation that we’ll have to receive patients here.
“So far, I think Lagos State is doing a great job. From what I’ve seen here,
they’re putting up a first class and a world class facility that will help us
in the management of those affected with COVID-19.
“I think we are on course and the basic strategy of the national response is containment,
try as much as possible to reduce spreads to tracking of those that have
already infected so that we minimize the the case of community transmission.”
Mustapha, charged the media to continue to broadcast to the people on the need to
“maintain social distances, we need to maintain personal hygiene and we need to report anybody within the community
who has shown symptoms of the infection, so that as quickly as possible, the help desired can extend to those persons. So thank you very much.”