Coronavirus: NCDC will provide guidance for businesses to re-open safely’ – DG, Ihekweazu

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has said it will provide guidance for businesses to take responsibility and re-open safely, as it continues to work towards curtailing the spread of coronavirus disease in the country.

The Director-General (DG), of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, said this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF), media briefing on Monday, in Abuja.

The Director-General said President Muhammadu Buhari had expressed concerns over re-opening of the economy, when the PTF briefed him on the public health response to COVID-19 in the country.

According to him, a decision was reached that Nigerians might have to live with the pandemic for months in the foreseeable future.

He said “But how do we move from the narrative of a lockdown to a narrative of a safe re-opening so that people can go back to their livelihoods, why still staying safe from this virus?

“How do we do that in the farms, markets, schools, in transports, our offices and in aviation?

“Really this has to be our focus in the coming weeks, to provide guidance for businesses to take responsibility and re-open safely.

“But I was happy to hear the efforts being made by the aviation industry, the detailed thinking that has started to happen in order to eventually re-start.

“Similar conversations are going on in the education sector, and I have the privilege of some of those.

“It will be much easier for Mr President, that when we visit him in the next two weeks with a narrative that we are ready to re-open safely, it will make his decisions easier.”

He also explained that the biggest challenge was how Nigerians could ensure that small businesses opened safely.

“We must take every step in a deliberate and calculative manner, due to what we have on ground with our healthcare, in order to give our people succour.

“Industries and enterprises will be given guidelines of what they need to put in place when issuing out phase two strategy of the lockdown ease,” he added.

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