Presidential Task Force Warns States On Reopening Schools, Viewing Centres + Other COVID-19 Updates

SGF Boss Mustapha OnoBello

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has frowned upon the reopening of schools, television viewing centres and other areas of public interest amid the escalating cases of the pandemic.

PTF Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, disclosed this during a live briefing on Monday in Abuja, the nation’s capital where he mentioned that it is not safe. According to him, some governors were contemplating reopening schools and television viewing centres among others in their respective states.

“We have received reports that some states are contemplating the opening of schools, television viewing centres, sports stadium and other places where large gatherings could take place. The Presidential Task Force reemphasises that it is not yet safe to do so and that utmost caution should be exercised in this regard,” he said.

Mustapha also asked security agencies to enforce the ban on interstate travels in the country. He also warned Nigerians to desist from large gatherings of “whatever category” in order to prevent contracting the virus.

While noting that gatherings in whatever form are still banned, the SGF stressed that there have been a daily increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. “Gatherings of any form are still not opened, we must avoid it either driving, shows, rallies or whatever categories, be responsible. Lifting restriction does not mean carelessness and that life is normal. Yes, there is a normal – but it is a new normal,” he said.

However, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has also asked security agencies to enforce the ban on interstate travels in the country. “We also appeal to the security agencies to enforce the ban on interstate travel very strictly,” he said while giving an update.

The PTF Chairman also warned Nigerians to desist from large gatherings of “whatever category” in order to prevent contracting the virus. While noting that gatherings in whatever form are still banned, Mustapha stressed that there have been a daily increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Gatherings of any form are still not opened, we must avoid it either driving, shows, rallies or whatever categories, be responsible. Lifting restriction does not mean carelessness and that life is normal. Yes, there is a normal – but it is a new normal,” he said.

His warning comes 24 hours after the Federal Capital Territory Ministerial Task Team on COVID-19 shut the Jabi Lake Mall indefinitely for violating the ban on public gathering.

The mall was said to be the venue of a drive-in concert of hip-hop artiste, Naira Marley in contravention of the PTF’s directive as part of measures to curb the spread of the virus. Following the concert, most Nigerians took to social media to express worry over the concert held at the car park of the mall on Saturday, June 13.

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