Nigeria eyes reopening of schools, worship centres despite Covid-19 spike

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. PHOTO | FILE | AFP

What you need to know:

  • The country hit 10,162 confirmed infections and 287 deaths on Sunday.

Nigeria is considering reopening schools and places of worship despite a spike in coronavirus cases as the country hit 10,162 confirmed infections and 287 deaths on Sunday.

The country recorded 307 new Covid-19 cases, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) which confirmed that 3,007 patients have been treated and discharged.

Although some stakeholders have considered reopening of schools and places of worship as ill-timed, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 said it had recommended partial reopening of schools, places of worship and businesses to President Muhammadu Buhari.

The chairman of the PTF, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said on May 31, 2020 in Abuja that PTF had no problem any of the 36 state governments that ordered reopening of the facilities in view of the power vested on states by the Constitution.

“So, the issues of places of worships; the issues of schools; the issues of some certain businesses that were not opened hitherto are part of the packages that we have looked at. We have made the appropriate recommendations, but you know that Mr President is the only one that can take decisions in respect of that,’’ he said.

In spite of the daily increases in cases of the virus, he said the country was winning the battle, adding: "As a matter of fact, you juxtapose the rate of cases with our fatality rate, which is basically about three percent, in other countries and other climes, it’s over 10 percent," he said, adding that Nigeria is not yet out of the woods.

Mr Mustapha gave assurances that essential parts of the economy would continue opening up to boost socio-economic activities across the country.

“After we receive Mr President’s approval tonight or tomorrow morning, we will now know which segment of the economy he has allowed to open.’’