By Abujah Racheal
Abuja, Oct. 12, 2020 The Federal Government has said that the safe reopening of schools with respect to dates and modalities is the responsibility of the states.
Mr Boss Mustapha, Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, in a briefing of the taskforce in Abuja on Monday, said that the federal government would only provide necessary guidelines for the reopening.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a debate on the safe reopening of schools had dominated the space of conversation by concerned Nigerians.
He said, “We wish to reiterate that federating units have the responsibility of determining the dates and modalities for the safe reopening, while the Federal Government provides the guidelines.”
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said that the picture across the world on COVID-19 pandemic showed that Nigerians should not lower their guards.
“The PTF is glad that the economy is opening up the more, but warns that as we continue to study developments in Europe and other parts of the world, no nation can be said to be immune to a possible second wave, if the guidelines and protocols are not adhered to strictly.
“Nigerians need to anticipate this and prepare. Our hope and prayers are that it shall never happen.
“For our proper information and guidance, the picture from around the world can be summarised as follows:
“Over the last few days, global cases crossed the 37 million mark. In the UK, cases have been on the increase, and the 5th highest number of daily cases was recorded on Sunday, Oct. 11th with 12,872 cases.
“Similarly, Brazil’s case load has also continued to increase with the registration of a daily case load of over 65,000 on the October 11,” he said.
The chairman added that on the African continent, 8,987 cases were reported from 34 countries in the last 24 hours.
This, he said, had led to a cumulative total case count of 1,587,276, including 38,167 deaths, with the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) standing at 2.4 per cent.
He said that Nigeria maintains the 5th position (60,266) in highest cumulative cases after South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, and Ethiopia.
The PTF chairman said that the taskforce shall, within the week, unveil to Nigerians the next steps, regarding the remaining phase of the eased lockdown.
He noted that findings and recommendations had been compiled and would be presented to President Muhammadu Buhari in 8th Interim Report.
Mustapha said that the PTF and relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) had made appreciable progress in their discussions with the European Union (EU) over flight restrictions.
The discussion, he emphasised, was on entry of Nigerian nationals and holders of long-term Schengen Visas into the territory.
He expressed hope that there would be a favourable announcement on this soon.