Another lockdown looms as the first phase of the gradual easing of lockdown ends today.Adunni Adetola
The presidential taskforce on COVID-19 yesterday submitted its reports on the containment of the virus and the progress of committe in the second phase of the gradual easing of the lockdown to the president.
President Muhammadu Buhari had announced in his broadcast of Monday, 27th April, 2020 that the opening of the economy will be gradual and in four phases of two weeks per phase. The president also directed the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to provide implementation guidelines on the new measures to control COVID-19 pandemic.
The guidelines was received and signed by Boss Mustapha who is the Secretary to the Federal government (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Committee on the COVID-19, he assured Nigerians that the Federal Government has decided that there will be a phased and gradual easing of the lockdown in Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) effective from Monday, 4th-18th,May, 2020.
The first phase of the lockdown which permitted the opening of some businesses like eateries, supermarkets etc and the imposition of overnight curfew nationwide from 8pm to 6am.
However, at the end of the phase 1 that ended on the 18th,the Presidential Taskforce announced an extention of the phase 1 by another two week rather than the commencement of the phase 2 of the gradual easing of the lockdown.
The phase 1 extension is expected to end today,1st of June,2020 by 11pm. However,there has been panics due to the contineous rise in the number of reported cases of the virus an also,the non-compliance by majority of the people to the guildelines in the first phase.
There is currently fears of uncertainty among Nigerians as the Presidential Taskforce yesterday presented the assessment report of the last ease of the lockdown and made recommendations on the way forward.
According to the Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce and Secretary to the Government,Boss Mustapha when he was asked whether there is any hope of the reopening of the economy, he said; “Well,we have started. Even in the first phase and the extension that came with it,substantial part of the economy was opened up by way of allowing agricultural production,people that produce fertilizer,and the oil and gas industry was never closed for one day,haulage of oil,refining and prospecting never stoppedfor one day and some aspects of the financial sector was opened”.
The country awaits the president on the next line of action to know if the lockdown will continue or we would move to the second phase of the ease of it.