AS the nation and global community brace up for an imminent second wave of the coronavirus, the federal government has advised states to immediately close all bars, nightclubs, and restaurants across the country.
Also to be restricted are the number of guests at weddings, conferences, among others; which have also been limited to 50 persons.
The chairman of the Presidential Task Force, PTF on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, while speaking at its briefing on Monday, said the new guidelines are part of measures to limit the spread of the virus.
Justifying the need for more stringent measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mustapha said: “recent epidemiology records confirm to the PTF that Nigeria is now facing a rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide which is similar to the second wave of infections occurring in other countries across the world.”
He said President Muhammadu Buhari 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% 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% of their capacity in compliance with social distancing rules.
- Enforce compliance with NPI protocols especially the advisory on wearing of face masks in public spaces;
The PTF chairman said the protection of Nigerians remains the primary concern of the government. He reassured Nigerians of the government’s resolve not to relent.