Fed Govt orders stay-at-home for federal workers

…advises compliance for Abuja, Lagos residents

Federal public servants have been ordered to observe a compulsory stay at home, even as the Federal Government continues to find ways by which the novel coronavirus can be combated and ousted from the country.

The Federation’s Head of Service, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan in a communique on Monday, said the order is in line with measures by the Federal Government to manage the identified cases of COVID-19 and to curtail its spread.

Dr Yemi-Esan in her statement stressed that “as further steps to check the spread of COVID-19, all non-essential public servants on grade level 12 and below are to stay and work from home with effect from Tuesday 24th March 2020 until further notice”.

She also stated that all other categories of officers who will be at work are strongly advised to limit the number of visitors they receive to the barest minimum to reduce physical contact as much as possible.

The government on Monday also advised residents of Abuja and Lagos, the two cities which are hardest hit by coronavirus, to stay at home “until further advice is given”.

The move to partially lock down two of Nigeria’s most important cities – Lagos is its economic capital and Abuja its administrative and political centre – came after President Muhammadu Buhari was criticised for providing leadership to the country in time of crisis.

The Presidency asked all citizens to respect the “advisory and…measures put in place to curtail the spread of #COVID19.”

Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had taken steps in the last few days to break the circle of transmission. Such measures included shutting down all schools in the state and limiting the number of people at social and religious gatherings to a maximum of 50.

On Saturday, he told civil servants on levels 1 t0 12 to work from home for the next two weeks.

The affected workers constituted about 70% of the state’s workforce.

He also advised private firms to allow their non-essential service staff to work from home.

While federal civil servants may be handed similar order in the next few hours, states such as Ogun, Ekiti, Kogi and Ondo have announced similar measures.

The first two have recorded cases of the virus.

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