The Presidential Task Force PTF on the containment of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic on Wednesday issued an implementation guide and protocol for the enforcement of the lockdown policy.
Coordinator of the PTF, Dr Aliyu Sani, read out the guide and protocol handbook at the press briefing of the task force, after its Chairman, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, had announced its adoption.
The handbook spelled out the rules and manners guiding the activities of Nigerians living in the areas affected by the set of movement restrictions ordered on Sunday evening by President Muhammadu Buhari; the areas currently being Lagos and Ogun Statea, as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
According to the guide, residents of the three locations, during the first 14 days prescribed in the Presidential restriction order, are to remain within their residences, except for those who might be engaged in the provision of essential services.
It also prescribed the total shut down of all borders into the states and the FCT, prohibiting all movements, including vehicular, into, out of or within the affected areas, except for those on essential services or for movements of food, fuel, manufactured goods or relief materials.
It also spelled out the forms of exemptions to the order, the categories of people and circumstances that would be eligible for the exemptions.
“As part of the measures in place to enforce social distancing and limit the spread of the SARS-CoV-2, the Federal Government of Nigeria has decided that schools, organizations and businesses in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States will close effective from 30 March 2020 at 23:00h for an initial period of 2 weeks.
“For the period of the lockdown, every person is confined to his or her place of residence, unless strictly for the purpose of performing an essential service, obtaining an essential good or service, or seeking medical care.
“All borders linking the two States and FCT to the rest of the country are shut during the period of the lockdown, except for the transportation of persons on essential duty, food, fuel, manufactured goods or donated relief items. Security agencies should note this.
“Mass gathering is prohibited, except for funeral services as guided by infection prevention and control regulations, for which social distancing rules apply and crowds are limited to not more than 20 persons.
“Movement between and within the affected States and FCT is restricted, except for workers involved in the delivery of authorized essential services, duties, food and goods.
“Retail shops and malls must be closed, except where essential goods are sold. Shops and malls that are open must enforce social distancing and hygiene measures in line with issued guidelines.
“Any business or organization providing essential goods and services must identify the staff who will perform those services.
“Commuter services between cities and States including passenger rail services, bus services, e-hailing services, maritime and air passenger transport are suspended for the period of the lockdown in the affected States.
“Limited transport services are allowed for the movement of workers, services and goods in response to COVID-19 and for the purpose of seeking medical attention or provision of essential services. Transport services available during the lockdown must implement social distancing and hygiene measures. The table below lists the essential services and businesses that are exempted:
Services and Businesses Exemptions
Private and public hospitals
Dental clinics (emergencies only)
Pharmacies and chemist shops
Opticians and ophthalmologists (emergencies only)
Retail : All should ensure social distancing and increased hygiene measures are in place
Food markets, open from 10:00h -14:00h daily)
Supermarkets and shops selling food and essential non-food items (groceries)
Shopping malls (only shops selling food and essential groceries shall open)
Food and drink
Food delivery services (no eating-in)
Logistics and transportation
Registered repair garages
Company car services for essential staff
Courier and distribution companies
Private security companies
Trucks carrying essential goods including food, pharmaceuticals and manufactured goods related to the COVID-19 response
Airline ground handling staff and essential aviation staff
Hotels with guests and/or hosting essential staff (no restaurants, bar services or night clubs shall open to the public)
Orphanages and homes
Banks: skeletal services to maintain ATMs, essential online operations and cash services.
Government institutions and public utilities
Agencies involved in essential duties (see list below)
○ Electricity distribution and Transmission company
○ Waste management
○ Environmental Health Services
Places of worship
Small funeral services limited to 20 persons only Agriculture
Farms, distributors of food and perishable commodities
Manufacturers of food, drugs, pharmaceuticals and essential products related to the response
Cargo and specially approved flights only Communications
Telecommunication companies, newspaper, TV, radio and broadcasting companies
Workers allied to this sector including newspaper vendors
Internet service providers
Legal and Security
Public and private security agencies
Criminal justice and correctional services as necessary to maintain law and order
Diplomatic Missions, International development partners and honorary consulates
Critical diplomatic staff necessary for essential embassy functions including security, consular issues, plant maintenance etc.
SECTION II: PROTOCOLS FOR LOCKDOWN
With regards to the carriage of passengers:
Ensure adequate spacing in between passengers
Clean and disinfect frequently touched parts e.g. door and window handles/buttons, steering wheels and dashboards.
Encourage passengers to frequently perform hand hygiene.
SUPER MARKETS AND FOOD STORES
All owners and managers of supermarkets and food stores must strictly adhere to the following:
On arrival, all staff must be screened for high temperature. Those found to have a body temperature above 38.0⁰C should be denied entry and advised to immediately seek medical attention.
Ensure staff and customers wash their hands before entry to the store. Make provision for regular hand hygiene for staff during working hours.
Ensure all deliveries of supplies and products are made between 5:00 am and 9:00 am. Porters should wash their hands before offloading products and goods.
Store opening hours should be between 10am to 4pm daily for customers
At any point in time, the total number of customers inside each store must not on average exceed a third of the store’s maximum capacity. Where necessary, store owners should assign security personnel to ensure strict compliance with these measures.
Ensure that from 4pm all shelves, aisles and stores are cleaned and disinfected
Ensure that by 6pm, all stores are closed, and staff conveyed back to their respective homes.
The rules above for supermarkets shall also apply to pharmacies. However, 24-hour pharmacies may continue to operate as usual.
In order for markets to operate, State and local government authorities as well as leaders of market associations must take full responsibility for strict compliance with the following protocols:
Only shops and stalls selling food and groceries shall be allowed to open to customers between 10:00am to 2:00pm every 48 hours or less frequently.
All market associations must make provision for hand washing for all sellers and buyers. At entry and exit points of the market, both sellers and buyers must wash or sanitize their hands.
Each stall/shop in the market should ensure that their customers queue and are attended to serially while complying with social distancing measures and avoiding overcrowding.
All shop owners and staff must arrive and set up at least 30 minutes before the market is open to customers. Each store owner is responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their shops.
All markets should strictly comply with social distancing policies. A safe gap should be ensured between shop/stall owners and customers.
All banks shall comply with the guidelines, mode and scope of operations issues by the Central Bank and Federal Ministry of Finance as it related to the COVID-19 response.
All banks shall make provision for hand hygiene at the entry of the premises and temperature monitoring of all staff and customers.
Those customers and staff found to have a body temperature above 38.0⁰C shall be denied entry and advised to immediately seek medical attention.
Banks should develop a schedule for cleaning buttons and surfaces of ATM machines.
LIST OF EXEMPTED GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
Due to the essential nature of their functions, the following MDAs are exempted from the lockdown order (this list is not exhaustive):
1. The Presidency
2. Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation
3. Federal Road Safety Corps
4. Bureau of Public Procurement
5. National Agency for the Control of AIDS
6. Offices of all permanent secretaries, CEOs/accounting officers of all MDAs in the public service
7. Department of State Services
8. Central Bank of Nigeria
9. Federal Ministry of Agriculture
10. National Grain Reserves
11. Federal Ministry of Aviation
12. Accident Aviation Bureau
13. Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria
14. Nigerian Airspace Management Agency
15. Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority
16. Nigerian Meteorological Agency
17. Federal Ministry of Communications
18. Galaxy Backbone
19. Nigeria Communications Commission
20. Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency
21. Federal Ministry of Environment
22. Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning
23. Nigeria Customs Service
24. Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority
25. Debt Management Office
26. Federal Ministry of Health
27. All teaching hospitals and federal medical centres
28. Nigeria Centre for Disease Control
29. National Primary Healthcare Agency
30. National Health Insurance Scheme
31. Nigerian Institute of Medical Research
32. Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development
33. National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons
34. National Emergency Management Agency
35. National Cash Transfer Office
36. National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons
37. National School Feeding Programme
38. Federal Ministry of Information and Culture
39. Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria
40. National Orientation Agency
41. News Agency of Nigeria
42. Nigeria Broadcasting Commission
43. Nigeria Television Authority
44. Voice of Nigeria
45. Federal Ministry of Interior
46. Federal Fire Service
47. Nigeria Immigration Services
48. Nigerian Correctional Services
49. Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps
50. Federal Ministry of Justice
51. Federal Ministry of Petroluem
52. Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation and allied petroleum sector agencies
53. Upstream oil and gas companies (operating, services and logistics)
54. Federal Ministry of Transport
55. Nigerian Ports Authority
56. Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment
57. Federal Ministry of Water Resources
58. The Armed Forces
59. The Nigeria Police Force
Source: Nation newspaper
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