The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee, (PSC) on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, has clarified misrepresentation in the briefing of the PSC on Monday.
Mustapha, who spoke to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja, said it was erroneously reported that the federal government had re-introduced nationwide curfew between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. as part of the COVID-19 safety protocols.
He, however, said the announcement by the National Incident Manager, Dr. Mukhtar Mohammed, during the PSC press briefing was taken out of context because the federal government did not relax the curfew imposed earlier under Phase Three of the eased lockdown.
Rather, he explained that what Mohammed said was that the federal government was maintaining the curfew under the Phase Four of the phased restriction of movement.
“Under the Fourth Phase of restriction of movement, night clubs, gyms and others will remain closed till further notice; while all citizens will also ensure that mass gatherings outside work settings do not exceed maximum of 50 people in an enclosed space.
“These restrictions have been in existence under the Third Phase but are being maintained under the Phase Four of the phased restriction of movement,” said the SGF.
He further said because people had been violating the safety protocols, they had forgotten that the protocols were never relaxed in the first place.
“Therefore, the PSC hereby reiterates that there is no newly introduced lockdown. There is no need for the panic that followed the announcement of the Fourth Phase of the phased restriction of movement.
“We will continue to appeal to members of the public to comply with these restrictions because they are necessary safety measures against contracting the dreaded coronavirus, which is still ravaging human populations across the world,” said Mustapha.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the transition of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 to PSC on COVID-19, which took effective from April 1, with a modified mandate to reflect the non-emergent status of COVID-19 as a potentially long-term pandemic.
“The structure of the PSC shall reflect the new focus of the response with a targeted approach on vaccine oversight, risk communication, international travel quarantine processes, and sub-national engagement; and that the tenure of the PSC shall last till 31 December, 2021,” said the president.
He added that the PSC would maintain the present constitution, functions and strategies of the PTF; be supported by a slim technical and administrative structure.
Mohammed is expected to formally take over from the National Coordinator, Dr. Sani Aliyu, and function as the Head (Technical Secretariat) and member of the PSC.