The Federal Government has extended the ban on all flights into the Country for an additional four weeks.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, announced this at Wednesday’s daily of the Task Force.
Mustapher said: “Tomorrow (Thursday) marks the last day for the enforcement of the closure of Nigeria’s airspace to flights. We have assessed the situation in the aviation industry and have come to the conclusion that given the facts available to us and based on the advice of experts, the ban on all flights will be extended for an additional four weeks.“
The PTF chairman also expressed concerned that Nigerians were not complying with the ease of lockdown guidelines.
He said from the Taskforce observation Nigerians have abandoned the various protective measures to curb the spread of the various, noting that all indications pointed at dangers ahead.
He called on all stakeholders, especially community and religious leaders to help government in changing the tides.
The SGF reiterated his call for all Nigerians to take responsibility for their individual safety, as well as those of their loved ones, warning that COVID-19 was a deadly outbreak, which should be taken seriously.
“The overall assessment of compliance with the measures and outcomes of modelling we have developed, point in the direction of danger ahead. We therefore need personal discipline, increased awareness and enforcement.
“The PTF calls on community, religious, and traditional leaders to take up this challenge. Similarly, we call on, trade associations, professional bodies and organizations to compliment the efforts of government. The PTF appreciates your current efforts but it has become very obvious that more needs to be done, together.
“Early assessment of the ease of lockdown phase indicate that Nigerians are yet to come to terms with the deadliness and the virulent nature of the COVID-19 and this gives us concerns on the high possibility of increased seeding of the virus to hitherto un-affected persons and populations.
The SGF also raised the concerns of President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as the PTF, of increasing cases of infection of medical doctors and other health sector frontline workers, adding that the government would continue to renew efforts at training frontline personnel.
“We have received a boost in the isolation facilities available in Abuja with the completion of the Abuja Thisday Dome. This facility will be inaugurated on Tuesday 12th May, 2020”, he said.
The Government had in March 18th announced the restrictions of entry into the country for travelers from 13 Countries including the US and UK.
The restriction was extended to travelers from countries with more than 1,000 cases. They include China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, Japan, France, Germany, the United States, Norway, UK, Netherlands and Switzerland, according to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
On March 23rd, the NCAA confirmed essential flights to include aircraft in state of emergency, over flights, operations related to humanitarian aid, medical and relief flights, alternate aerodrome identified in the flight plan, technical stop where passengers do not disembark, cargo flights and other safety related operations.