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Government offices, banks, others to resume work Monday, says Nigerian govt

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The federal government said Wednesday that government offices would on Monday, May 4, 2020, resume normal work nationwide.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, who disclosed this at the daily briefing by the committee in Abuja, said those in the banking, construction and manufacturing sectors as well as food processing companies would also be allowed to open.

He said the resumption would be based on specific grade levels, stressing that temperature test, respiratory hygiene and restriction of gathering of not more than 20 persons would be introduced.

He said the Presidential Task Force would engage state governments to have a common approach to the opening of offices.

“For government offices, government staff will be allowed to resume from the 4 of May but it will be based on specific grade levels and specific days so that we can reduce the amount of congestion that we might have in our government offices and we will be discussing further with state governments to make sure that we have a common approach to this.

“Banks will be allowed to open but there will be restriction in the opening hours to between 8am to 2pm and together with all the other preventive measures I have already mentioned.

“In addition to this, from the point of agriculture and rural development, companies involved in food processing can commence operation.

“In construction sites, critical road will be allowed but waivers will be provided by state governments to enable movement.

“For the manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries, we will encourage shift work and limiting staff to only 30 to 50 per cent to maintain social distancing and pharmacy shops may remain open overnight,” he said.

He said restrictions on social gatherings, operation of schools, mosques and churches would remain in place pending review of the new measures by government.

“Restaurant will not be opened to the publics but will be allowed to engage in home delivery of food. Schools will remain closed till further evaluation. Schools are encouraged to continue with e-learning and virtual teaching.

“Social activities such as the use of recreational parks, communal sports, concert, social parties and movie theaters will be suspended until further review.

“Neighborhood markets will continue to open with the same standard and restrictions that we have applied in the past as well as supermarkets, and retail stores,” he said.

He urged those above 65 years with mobility challenge to avoid co-mingling with the general public so that they protect themselves from COVID-19.

“There will be general pieces of advice, for instance, discouraging persons above the age of 65 and those with mobility challenge from co-mingling with the general public so that they protect themselves from catching Covid -19 because they are the ones that are most likely to develop severe illness.

“We will be providing additional details and hopefully the implementation guidelines and the protocols will follow over the next day or two to allow businesses and offices to prepare for these changes,” he said.

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