The UK Government has today launched a GOV.UK Coronavirus Information service on WhatsApp.
LAGOS IS NOT ON LOCKDOWN
The attention of the Lagos State Government has been drawn to news reports that Lagos is on lockdown following Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s update on the steps taken to curtail the spread of Coronavirus.
The impression created by such reports is erroneous; Lagos is not on lockdown despite the stringent measures introduced by the government.
Mr. Governor, who is the Incident Commander, only urged private sector establishments to introduce measures that will support the government’s efforts at curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
Governor Sanwo-Olu suggested that banks should enhance their online banking services to enable their customers have transactions without visiting banking halls.
All markets that are not selling food, pharmaceutical products, water, medical equipment and other essential materials are to close down.
Workers providing essential services – Fire Service, Emergency, health, water, telecommunication, security, media and others – are exempted from this directive.
The initiatives being introduced by the government are to prevent any situation where more than 25 persons will gather in the same place at any time.
The Sanwo-Olu Administration is concerned about the rising number of COVID-19 cases, hence it is adopting measures to keep residents safe.
The government will continue to appraise the situation, consult various stakeholders and make further announcements to check the spread of this lethal disease.
Residents should observe simple hygiene measures, such as washing hands with soap and water, covering mouth while sneezing or coughing and consulting a doctor when feeling ill. Anyone feeling unwell should stay indoors.
We should remain observant, prayerful and report all suspected cases of COVID-19 through the emergency hotlines – 08000CORONA, 08023169485, 08033535529, 08052817243.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy
By Ossom Raphael
Abuja – As Nigeria continues to record new cases of Corona Virus, otherwise known as COVID-19, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, has encouraged manufacturers to scale up their production of essential commodities needed to curtail the spread of the virus.
The measures were part of the outcome of a meeting convened by the ministry in Abuja with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and other key stakeholders to proactively address the challenges, potential threats and impact of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy.
Otumba Adebayo Adeniyi, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, said measures agreed upon are to provide requisite facilities and supplies for the prevention of COVID-19 in line with the extant guideline of the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
“All industries are encouraged to do their utmost best to sustain ongoing operations in order to avoid reduction or shutdown of production activities.
” Manufacturers are encouraged to scale up their production especially of essential commodities such as pharmaceuticals, consumables, sanitary and hygiene products needed to curtail the spread of the virus”, he said.
The minister further said that the Federal Government will do everything possible to support industries to sustain their operations and where necessary even stimulate a surge in production of essential commodities especially medicines and sanitary products.
On his part. Mr. Munsur Ahmed, President of MAN, said the discussions centred on fiscal and monetary measures to be taken, to assist the manufacturing sector to remain afloat.
Mr. Ahmed disclosed that the association has identified a number of issues to be submitted to the Federal Government for approval to cushion the effect of the virus.
He was optimistic that if the measures discussed are approved, they would go a long way in sustaining production of goods in the country.
· Leave extended to 31 May for individuals who are currently unable to return home at the end of their visa;
· Visa nationals should proactively inform Home Office if they intend to extend stay;
· This will be kept under review in case further extension is needed.
Visa nationals who cannot return home due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be able to extend their visa.
The extension, announced today (24 March) by the Home Secretary Priti Patel, will apply to anyone whose leave expired after the 24 January and who cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation.
This will last until 31 May but will be kept under regular review in case further extensions are needed.
A dedicated COVID-19 immigration team has been set up within UKVI to make the process as straightforward as possible. Anyone in this situation just needs to contact this team, via this email address CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk, to let them know their visa has expired and they will be issued with an extension.
To help those who want to apply for visas to stay in the UK long-term, the Home Office is also temporarily expanding the in-country switching provisions.
This will mean people can apply to switch routes, such as from Tier 4 (student) to Tier 2 (General Worker), whilst remaining in the UK. UKVI will continue to process applications as quickly as possible, however some applications may take longer than usual due to COVID-19 related operational pressures.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
“The UK continues to put the health and wellbeing of people first and nobody will be punished for circumstances outside of their control.
“By extending people’s visas, we are giving people peace of mind and also ensuring that those in vital services can continue their work.”
Many foreign nationals have found themselves unable to return home since the outbreak of COVID-19 due to flight cancellations and border restrictions.
The extension has been put in place to give these individuals peace of mind that they will not be penalised for overstaying their visa when the situation is out of their control due to COVID-19.
Those who contact the Home Office for these visa extensions will be expected to return to their home countries as soon as possible once flight and border restrictions are lifted. No immigration enforcement action will be undertaken during this time for those who email the Home Office as outlined above.
In light of the current advice on self-isolation and social distancing, the Home Office is also waiving a number of requirements on visa sponsors, such as allowing non-EU nationals here under work or study routes to undertake their work or study from home.
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