COVID-19: PTF discourages physical meetings, prefers virtual meetings

COVID-19: PTF discourages physical meetings, prefers virtual meetings

Monday, July 13, 2020 9:21 pm

Chairman of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Boss Mustapha at the COVID-19 daily news conference in Abuja.

Dr Sani Aliyu, the National Cordinator of the PTF on COVID-19, who said this at the daily briefing on Monday in Abuja, noted that physical meeting from government side should be seriously discouraged.

Aliyu recommended that the private sector should also continue to maintain virtual meetings.

The Coordinator said that by opening the airspaces, the PTF did not say that people should start roaming all over the country for meetings that should be held virtually.

“It is still safer to keep in a place than move around. The opening of shop should follow the directive and arrangements of local authorities, while observing laid out non pharmaceutical interventions.

“We call on security services to ensure that all those places that we have advised to close including bars, Cinemas, Gyms, Event Centres and Night clubs should remain closed,” he added.

Aliyu said that the PTF had interfaced with its partners and Nigerians and we had listened to their comments.

Moving forward, he said that the PTF would ensure reinforcing of non pharmaceutical interventions because it was very clear.

“We would increase our public awareness campaign because there is no vaccine for COVID-19 and no preventive therapy.

“The only thing that will get us out of this pandemic is by changing our behavior.

“We know from the experience of other countries that political commitment at the highest level is essential if the COVID-19 response is going to be successful.

“We’ve also improved our coordination with the private sector,  which continues to be low compared to where we want it to be,” he explained.

Meanwhile, he said that the current guidelines was about 10 days when the PTF got into the phase two of extension for the eased lockdown.

“The eased lockdown is to sustain the gains of the earlier response, while allowing additional sectors of the economy to operate in order to achieve the desired balance between saving lives and protecting livelihoods of citizens.

“In terms of curfew, we would continue to maintain a nationwide curfiew from 10 pm to 4am.

“For transportation both for intra-state and inter-state, movement across state borders is allowed but only for curfew times,” he said.

According to him, vehicles for short distance trips should preferably have their windows open and should also observed the non pharmaceutical intervention.

In this regard, he stated that the PTF was strongly recommending that those above the age of 60 years should stay at home.

“Not only to stay at home, and even avoid interaction with the members of the public outside their immediate purview, “ he advised.

Meanwhile, he said that the aviation industry had resumed limited domestic flights.

“They should have procedures of isolating passengers with COVID-19 and ensure crowd control so that social distance should be maintained, as well as providing training for other COVID-19 staff as well as other non pharmaceutical interventions.

“We are pleased with the measures put in place thus far by the Ministry of Aviation and we would continue to work with the aviation and general public, so that we don’t have increased transmission of COVID-19.

“We would want to emphasise the principles of no maps no entry and no service provided in public spaces including government offices and private sector,” he added.

In terms of working hours, he said that workers should continue to maintain normal working hours  based on curfew arrangements apart from government offices.

“We are recommending strict adherence to non pharmaceutical interventions.

“Only essential staff of grade level fourteen are to work in government offices from Mondays to Fridays,” (NAN)

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