No plan for second lockdown — FG

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The Federal Government on Thursday urged Nigerians to disregard the news circulating on the social media that it was contemplating another lockdown.

Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, made clarification in a statement signed by Mr Willie Bassey, Director Information in his office.

Mustapha also advised Nigerians to join hands with the Federal Government to contain the spread of the virus by adhering to Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI’s) as recommended by PTF.

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“The attention of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has been drawn to some misinformation circulating on the social media to the effect that the Federal Government is contemplating another lockdown this weekend.

“The PTF wishes to state categorically that there is no such consideration at any of its meetings, nor has any recommendation been made to this effect to the President.

“The PTF frowns at such unpatriotic misinformation which is capable of causing unnecessary panic and anxiety among the populace,” he said in the statement.

TheLeadng reported that the National Coordinator, Presidential Task Force PTF on COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, on Monday, warned that if the country starts having huge numbers of deaths and health system cannot cope, then the taskforce will be left with no choice but to announce another lockdown.

He said: “The decisions for lockdowns is in whose hands? It is not in the hands of PTF. It is in the hands of all of us the general public. Because, who wants to have a lockdown? We know the impact it has had on our economy and the country.

“It is very difficult and makes life difficult for everybody. But the reason why we are worried about the numbers is because at some point if the numbers continues to trend in this way, our health system will get overwhelmed and it’s not just about those people that will die from COVID, it is people like you and me that might have underlying conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, malaria and other treatable conditions that may not be able to access health service because it’s been overwhelmed by COVID,” Aliyu said.

He added, “In as much as I have been told that I am threatening a lockdown, I am just saying the fact that we need to comply with these protocols, make sure we use our masks, physical distancing and hand sanitizer.

“There are countries in the world that are currently opened, their airports, businesses are opened but they make sure everybody wears a mask and they have been able to keep their numbers down. And if we do the same we will be okay but if we don’t and we get overwhelmed, and we start having huge numbers of deaths, and health system is not coping, what do you think will happen? I rest my case.”