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THE Federal Government yesterday condemned the serial violations of COVID-19 safety protocols by politicians preparing for the governorship elections in Edo and Ondo states, saying this was the time to declare a lockdown.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation SGF, Mr Boss Mustapha, stated this Thursday in Abuja during the daily briefing of the Task Force.

He said if he had his way, he would declare another round of lockdown on the country, urging politicians to devise ingenuous ways of reaching the electorate without breaching physical distancing measures and the rule on wearing facemask.

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Meanwhile, as the increasing number of COVID-19 cases continues to take its toll on the nation’s health care system, particularly as it relates to the number of bed spaces, the government said it has established Community Support Centres in high burden local government areas.

It also frowned on the use of face shields as a replacement for face masks, advising that shields should only be used in addition to wearing masks and not as a replacement.

While also expressing worry over what appears a renewed wave of infections in Europe, China and particularly Brazil, which the government said shared a lot of demographic similarities with Nigeria, the government equally added that the result of a perception survey it recently carried out across the country showed that 80 percent of Nigerian parents were unwilling to allow their wards resume school until there was full guarantee that they would not be exposed to danger.

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It said by next week, it would announce when the airspace would be reopened for domestic flights.

On its part, the World Health Organization WHO announced that there are currently 220 vaccine candidates undergoing development at different stages.

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