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Nigeria re-opens schools, lifts ban on interstate travel

Tuesday June 30 2020
nig pix

A security man stands at the main gate of Computer Village, the largest Information and Communications Technology accessories market in Africa, to prevent access to the market in Lagos, on May 18, 2020. PHOTO | PIUS UTOMI EKPEI | AFP

By MOHAMMED MOMOH

In a review that further eases restrictions in the country, Nigeria has re-opened schools to graduating students, lifted a ban on inter-state travel and resumed domestic flights despite a spike in Covid-19 cases.

The government had imposed a four-week lockdown in 18 out of the 744 local governments areas with 60 percent of coronavirus cases, as total cases hit 25,133 with 573 deaths.

Only graduating students in primary six, Junior Secondary School three (JSS 3) and Senior Secondary School three (SSS 3) are expected to resume school while interstate travels can only be made outside the curfew time of 10 pm to 4 am.

The federal government has also approved resumption of domestic flights as soon as practicable, but warned that churches, mosques, open bars, night clubs, spas and gyms remained closed.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, said in the 5th interim report released June 29 that the new measures will take effect from July 1, 2020.

Mr Mustapha said the federal government has decided to embark on "precision lock down" of 18 local government areas accounting for most of the confirmed virus cases.

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While noting that Nigeria has not reached its peak as far as confirmed cases were concerned, he urged all stakeholders to ensure compliance with all non-pharmaceutical interventions.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Union of Teachers and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have protested re-opening of schools which they described as 'suicidal'.

The National President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, urged the government to first provide an ideal environment and meet conditions spelt out by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) before re-opening schools.

“The federal government must lead and show the way...When it comes to public health, it is something that should not be left in the hands of individuals.”

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