COVID-19: Nigeria bans large gatherings, etc, rolls out new guiddlines

Nigeria government on Monday imposed new restrictions to prevent further spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 Boss Mustapha announced the restrictions at the briefing of the task force in Abuja.

The new restrictions include the closure of all bars, nightclubs, pubs and event centres, as well as recreational venues in all states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

All restaurants were also directed to close, except those providing services to hotel residents, takeaways, home deliveries, and drive-ins.

All informal and formal festivity events, including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, concerts, seminars, sporting activities, end of year events, have been restricted to not more than 50 people.

The government also limited all gatherings linked to religious events to less than 50 per cent of the capacity of the facility of use which physical distancing and use of face masks should be strictly enforced.

Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said events where more than 50 people are attending should be held outdoors only.

He stated that public transportation systems should carry passengers not more than 50 per cent of their capacity, in compliance with social distancing rules.

Mustapha explained that the directives will be in implementation for the next five weeks.

Nigeria’s COVID-19 is currently 78,434 with 68,303 patients treated and discharged. The country has recorded 1,221 COVID-19 deaths according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The country’s COVID-19 figures experienced a spike in December with over 4,000 cases in the first two weeks of the month. This, Mustapha said, was caused by negligence to COVID-19 protocols in the country.

“From our assessment, the current situation are clearly the consequences of certain occurrences and events of the last few weeks,” Mustapha said “These include:

“Sudden increase in social gatherings involving large congregations from different parts of the country, and the world, at events such as weddings, religious activities, political rallies, conferences and end of year celebrations,

“These events, classified globally as ‘supers-spreader events’, make the risk of a single infection causing a large outbreak among attendees significantly higher,

“Furthermore, as we reopened the economy, we experienced increased economic, social and religious gatherings and activities all of which have combined to play a part in viral transmissions.”

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