National News

Schools remain closed as FG announces ban lift on religious gathering, banks to now operate full hours

By Amidu Arije

The Federal government has reiterated that schools across the country remained closed till further notice.

Speaking at the 38th joint national briefing on COVID-19 by the Presdiential Task Force, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF), Boss Mustapha, disclosed this on Monday in Abuja.

The SGF also warned that the country has not overcome its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic hence, the need to tread with caution as he said there will still be more cases of the virus.

The SGF announced the relaxation of restriction on places of worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed to by state governments.

Mustapha said the rexation of ban on religious places was part of recommendation the PTF submitted and which were approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for implementation over the next four weeks spanning 2nd-29th June, 2020, and subject to review.

“Ban on inter-state travels except for movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods and essential services; managed access to markets and locations of economic activity to limit the risk of transmission; mandatory use of non-medical face masks in public places;

“Mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitisers in all public places; extensive temperature checks in public places; maintaining two metres between people in public places; strengthening infection prevention and control at healthcare facilities; isolation of vulnerable populations (elderly and those with underlying health conditions),” Mustapha said.

He said that the PTF would also engage in massive information and education campaigns; deepening of collaborative efforts with the community leaders, civil society, faith-based organisations, traditional institutions; continuous mobilisation of state governments to take up greater role in the implementation of the guidelines and advisories provided by the PTF.

“Continued provision of support by the NCDC to States through guidelines to shape decision-making in responding to high burden LGAs and Wards; and easing the total lockdown of Kano State and introduction of Phase One of the Eased Lockdown,” he said.

Also as part of efforts to bring business back to normal, the National Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Sani Aliyu has announced during the briefing that banks in the country can now operate full hours.

“Effective from Tuesday, June 2, the easing of the lockdown will be characterise by the following:

“There will be full opening of the financial sector with banks now allowed to operate normal working hours five days a week,” he said.

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