COVID-19: FG restricts religious, sporting gatherings, Yuletide parties, others

President Mohammadu Buhari has ordered the closure of all bars, night clubs, pubs and event centres, and recreational venues for the next five weeks to contain the spike in COVID – 19 pandemic.

Also ordered to be closed included all restaurants, while schools would remain closed till at least till January 18, 2021.

The government also restricted guests at all informal and formal festivity events, including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, concerts, seminars, sporting activities and end of year events to 50 persons.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, stated these during the PTF press conference on Monday.

According to him, all government staff on grade level 12 and below are to stay at home for the next five weeks.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said “Recall that the PTF established the Nigeria International Travel Portal for the control of possible importation of the virus. Statistics show that a good percentage of in-bound travellers have breached the travel protocols, thereby making surveillance and testing suffer undue setbacks.

“The PTF has concluded arrangements with the Nigeria Immigration Service to impose sanctions on these defaulters for breaching the public health protocols, within ambit of the law.

“The PTF has surveyed developments and actions taken by governments around the world, assessed our domestic environment and has accordingly submitted its recommendations to Mr President on immediate measures to be taken.

“Accordingly, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has authorised the PTF to engage with the states and the FCT to assume full ownership of this stage of the response by deploying legal structures and resources, including enforcement to manage the pandemic within their jurisdictions.

“In line with the authorisation, the PTF wishes to issue the following advisories to sub-national entities for implementation over the next five weeks because these activities are considered super spreader events:

“Close all bars, night clubs, pubs and event centres, and recreational venues; close all restaurants except those providing services to hotel residents; takeaways, home deliveries and drive-ins shall remain closed.

“Restrict all informal and formal festivity events including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, concerts, seminars, sporting activities, end of year events shall be restricted to not more than 50 persons.

“Limit all gatherings linked to religious events to less than 50 per cent capacity of the facility of use during which physical distancing; mandatory use of face masks shall be strictly enforced.

“Where more than 50 persons are attending, any such events, the gathering should be held outdoors only; public transportation systems are to carry passengers not more than 50 percent of their capacity in compliance with social distancing rules.

Nigeria in a very difficult time, says Mustapha

Meanwhile, Mustapha’s appearance on Monday was his first public event after going into self-isolation after some members of his household tested positive for COVID-19.

The SGF on Monday warned Nigerians to avoid what he called “reckless behaviours” during the festive period.

Mustapha, said nine members of his household, including a one-year-old, had so far tested positive for the virus.

He said, “We are in for a very difficult time, but with the supports of all Nigerians by observing all protocols, we can weather the storm together.

“You must take every necessary step to protect yourselves and your family members.”

Mustapha also said he had lost more friends during the second wave of the virus than he did between March and November.

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