The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman, Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, has said the decision to extend the lockdown occasioned by the Coronavirus Disease was not punitive.
Mustapha stated this at the PTF on COVID-19 daily press briefing in Abuja, adding that there was a need to balance between safety and economic considerations before reopening the economy.
He said judging from historical perspectives, there was the need to balance between safety and economic considerations before reopening the economy fully.
He said: “I wish to repeat that the decision is not punitive.
“We share your pains and also share your concerns.
“However, our future remains in our hands and compliance is one of the keys to opening that future.
“As we go into the first week of the extension of phase one under the eased lockdown regime, we appeal once more to everyone to diligently comply with measures put in place.”
Mustapha said of particular importance was the need to obey the curfew, ban on interstate travels, observe physical distancing, avoid large gatherings, observe personal and respiratory hygiene and align with the policy on the use of face masks.
He said the two additional weeks should be utilised by businesses, offices, professional bodies, places of worship, educational institutions awaiting reopening to plan and adopt new strategies under a COVID-19 era.
The chairman of the PTF on COVID-19 said behavioural change was a must for every citizen, adding that COVID 19 had changed the world completely.
He said the PTF was committed to continue to provide the required leadership for national response, adding that in the coming days, intense consultations would be deepened with different segments of the society.
This, according to him, includes state governments, security agencies, religious and community leaders in order to ensure a coordinated implementation of the measures.
Mustapha stated that specific directives had been issued to security agencies to strictly enforce the measures, while admonishing Nigerians to observe the restrictions in full.
He assured essential workers such as the front line medical personnel, media, environmental health workers, farmers and agro-related service providers, oil and gas services, aviation, power sector and others of adequate protection.
He, however, urged them to always go with their means of identifications.