A Section of the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, FCT

Nigerian civil servants on GL.12 and below to stay at home for 5 weeks ─PTF on COVID-19

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the second wave of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic with its new strain blows across certain economies, the Federal Government has directed the civil servants from Grade Level 12 and below to stay and work from home for the next five weeks.

Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, announced this Monday at the PTF briefing in Abuja, FCT.

Mustapha said Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executives Officers (CEOs) of parastatals were to be held accountable for enforcing NPI rules in their domains with frequent spot checks.

Likewise, the PTF on COVID-19 is considering restricting international travel into the country, as fear of a second wave triggered a second lockdown in the West African country.

ConsumerConnect recalls the Federal Government Monday, December 21, had directed all schools and other institutions of learning to remain closed until at least January 18, 2021.

The government similarly announced that it advised states to consider banning bars, night clubs, pubs and event centres, and recreational venues, all considered ‘super spreader events’ for COVID-19 pandemic.

The government said it is considering imposing some new restrictions on international flights due to the discovery of new strains of the Coronavirus disease in certain countries, including the United Kingdom (UK), according to agency report.

Tolu Ogunlesi, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media, in tweet posts via official Twitter account disclosed there are discussions on a potential restriction of international travels in the country.

The PTF also said about 20, 216 passengers who arrived in Nigeria from abroad had not come around for mandatory post-arrival tests.

A new strain of the virus has been widely reported to originate from the UK, and is thought to be spreading fast.

The new variant is reportedly in the country, according to scientists at the Africa Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), at the Redeemers’ University, Ede, in Osun State.

However, they clarified that the new variant was first reported October 2020, when the number of cases was low suggesting that the recent surge in cases may not be a result of the new variant.

Nevertheless, Nigerians are worried about the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and blame some of this on the international travellers returning home for the holiday.

Ogunlesi stated that “the test positivity rate in travelers arriving Lagos has recently doubled to 6.3%”, confirming that more international passengers who have arrived in Nigeria are testing positive.

According to him, Lagos, Kaduna, and FCT are the “epicenter” of new cases with over 70% of all confirmed cases.

As Nigeria ponders over whether to impose travel banks, other countries have already started placing travel restrictions as they seek to contain the spread of the fatal virus.

Report indicates that Israel, Turkey, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland have all barred air travel to and from South Africa, following the discovery of a new variant of the Coronavirus in the Southern African country.

Similarly, European countries have started to shut their borders against travellers from the United Kingdom, with the banning of flights and trains over concerns about a new Coronavirus strain that is spreading quickly through the country.

Meanwhile, President Buhari is scheduled to meet with members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon, according to the Presidency.

This was disclosed in a tweet by @NGRPresident, stating that “@MBuhari will meet with the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 this (Tuesday) afternoon.”

The meeting, a source said, will hold at the Aso Presidential Villa, in Abuja, and it is coming at a time the country is battling the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic.

Kindly Share This Story