The Federal Government has announced the immediate closure of all land borders in the country and indefinite suspension of the Federal Executive Council meeting.
The closure of the land borders would last for the next four weeks, and reopening it would only be based on the progress of the fight to combat the spread of COVID-19.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha announced this on Monday evening.
Mustapha, who also doubles as the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, stated that the president had acted on the recommendations of the committee, adding that the FEC meeting earlier scheduled for Thursday, March 26 would no longer hold.
“All land borders that have been hitherto under partial closure shall now be closed for human traffic for four weeks effective, 23rd March 2020; in order to protect Federal Civil and Public Servants, a circular to be issued by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) shall direct on actions to be taken immediately.”
He further said that the Presidency strongly advised residents of Lagos State and the FCT Abuja to remain in their homes and avoid large gatherings of any kind, particularly the non-essential outings.
He added that the Presidential Task Force had isolated Lagos and Abuja for particular attention in view of their population, mobility and number of cases already reported.
Giving an update on the COVID-19 statistics across the globe, Mustapha noted that the virus had now registered presence in 192 countries with over 329,000 confirmed cases.
“In Africa, 42 out of 54 countries have reported cases while 48 deaths have been recorded. In Nigeria, 36 cases have been reported and one fatality has occurred. The first responders, particularly the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), continues to attend to reports received through telephone calls and other media,” he said.
He commended Nigerians for making use of the dedicated hotlines, noting that over 4500 calls were received on Sunday, March 22, 2020, an indication of a high level of awareness and responsibility.
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“The strategy of government is to focus on testing, detection and containment through contact tracking in order to minimize hugely, the possibility of community spread. We urge anyone experiencing the symptoms of the virus or has been in contact with anyone who has been suspected or tested positive to please report at the nearest medical facility or the designated centre,” he said.
What you should know: The suspension of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting practically grinds governance and related activities to a halt indefinitely.