FG Slams Another Curfew, New Restrictions


Deadly COVID-19 variants: Experts warn as FG restricts gatherings, revives  curfew, bans nightclubs, others - Punch Newspapers

Olusola Bello

The Federal Government  in an effort to  forestall the spread of Corona Virus has imposed a nationwide curfew across the country.

Mukhtar Mohammed, the National Incident Manager, made this known at the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 briefing on Monday.

He said the curfew, which will be from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m., would take effect from midnight on Monday, May 10, 2021. He said night clubs, gyms and others would remain closed till further notice.

He stated that gatherings of religious groups and weddings, among others, have been reduced to 50 per cent attendance, while official engagements, meetings, and conferences should continue to hold virtually.

Announcing the new restrictions, Mohammed said: “for gathering including wedding, parties meetings; we are expanding the limit to 50 people preferably Outdoors not in enclosed spaces and attendees must wear face masks and they must ensure proper sanitization of their hands and maintaining physical distance.

“For land and rail transport, there are no limitations anymore on inter and intrastate travel but service providers must abide by status stipulations from the Federal Ministry of Transport and ensure that PPEs are used and where applicable physical distancing is observed.”

“For the public sector, we are maintaining the restriction and encouraging the work-at-home policy for staff below the level of grade level 12. Those at grade level 12 and above will be allowed to come to work.

“For the hospitality and entertainment industry, hotels will continue to remain open but observing all non-pharmaceutical interventions.”

He said amusement parks, gyms and cinemas “can open but at half capacity”, adding that event centres that provide outdoor spaces can open but not indoor event centres.

“Eateries and restaurants can only open for outdoor services and we will make sure this is complied with. Bars and nightclubs to remain closed until further notice. Each of authority within the state can provide additional guidelines for minimising risk in the state as it relates to these facilities and industries,” he said.

As of Sunday evening, Nigeria has recorded 165,419 COVID-19 infections according to an update published by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). The virus has killed 2,065 persons in the country.

To ensure no imported cases from countries experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, Nigeria recently banned travels from Brazil, India and Turkey.

The Nigerian government said non-Nigerians who had travelled to any of the three countries in the previous 14 days would not be allowed into Nigeria.

While working to prevent imported COVID-19 cases, Nigeria is also continuing with its vaccination programme with over 1.6 million Nigerians receiving their first of two shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

Meanwhile, at the briefing, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said the PSC has approved the commencement of the second dose of the vaccination in all states of the federation and the FCT.

Nigeria has, so far, received about 4.4 million doses of the vaccine.

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