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Inter-state travel still banned, religious gatherings now allowed; Nigerian govt unveils new COVID-19 guidelines

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, said on Monday the Federal Government had extended the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown across the country by two additional weeks.

Mustapha, who disclosed this during the COVID-19 daily briefing on Monday in Abuja, also announced the relaxation of the restriction placed on worship centres as part of measures to curtail the spread of the virus.

He, however, said the ban on inter-state travel is still in place.

He said: “There is a ban on gatherings of more than 20 people outside of the workplace.

“There is now a relaxation of the restriction on places of worship based on guidelines issued by the PTF and protocols agreed by state governments.

“We should also manage access to markets and locations of economic activity to limit the risk of transmission.

“Ban on inter-state travels except for the movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods, and essential services;

“Mandatory use of non-medical face masks in public places.”

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Nigerian govt considering having morning and afternoon classes ahead of school resumption

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, revealed that the global epicenter of the pandemic is gradually shifting to South and Central America.

The SGF added: “This shift to South America with virtually similar climatic and demographic similarities with Africa, is a cause for concern when we consider the fact that earlier projections pointed to Africa as likely to be the worst hit continent, by the pandemic.

“As at midnight on Sunday, May 31, 2020, Nigeria recorded 10,162 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 3,007 discharges and 287 deaths. Significantly, Nigeria recorded 553 new cases on Saturday, May 30, 2020 representing the highest single-day figure.”

He disclosed that based on the overall assessment including available data on the public health considerations and resultant economic impacts, the PTF is of the opinion that Nigeria is ready to allow science and data to determine her cautious advancement into the second phase of the eased lockdown for a period of four weeks.

“After considering all factors mentioned above, the PTF submitted its recommendations and President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the following for implementation over the next four weeks spanning June 2 to June 29, 2020, subject to review,” Mustapha concluded.

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