Second Wave: FG Urges States To Close Restaurants, Limit Gatherings To Stop COVID-19 Spread

Against the backdrop of sharp increases in transmission rates, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 has encouraged state governments and other groups to take additional measures in reducing the spread of the virus.

Boss Mustapha, chairman of the presidential task force on COVID-19  issued an advisory to “sub-national entities” on Monday during a briefing by the group which oversees the country’s response to the pandemic.

The recommendations which, he noted, should be implemented over the next five weeks include the closure of all bars, night clubs, pubs and event centres, recreational venues, and restaurants, except those serving hotel residents or providing takeaways and home deliveries.

The group urged state governments and others to restrict activities such as weddings, concerts, seminars, and sporting events to not more than 50 participants. Indoor religious gatherings should be limited to 50 per cent of the venue’s capacity and attendants should adhere to the use of face masks as well as physical distancing protocol.

“Public transportation systems are to carry passengers not more than 50 per cent of their capacity in compliance with social distancing rules,” Mustapha continued.

“To reduce overcrowding, the PTF encouraged states to encourage virtual meetings and remote working.”

“The PTF on the advice of the Federal Ministry of Education expects that schools would have vacated from the 18th December 2020 and remain closed till at least the 18th of January 2021 to enable the measures introduced to take effect,” he said.

“All persons above the age of 60yrs and/or with comorbidities are to be encouraged to stay at home and avoid crowds. All non-essential travels – both domestic and international during the holiday season are seriously discouraged.”

The task force also encouraged more grassroots orientation exercises that especially reach out to the young population and investments in the purchase and distribution of safety kits.

The chairman said deliberation was still ongoing on whether international travels would be restricted due to the discovery of new coronavirus strains.

“The PTF, Aviation and health authorities including the WHO [World Health Organization], are assessing the situation closely and would take a position as soon as a cogent scientific basis are established,” he said.

“The protection of Nigerians remains our primary concern and we reassure Nigerians of our resolve not to relent.”

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'Kunle Adebajo

Head of Investigations at HumAngle. ‘Kunle covers conflict alongside its many intricacies and fallouts. He also writes about disinformation, the environment, and human rights. He's won a couple of journalism awards, including the 2021 Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Journalism, the 2022 African Fact-checking Award, and the 2023 Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

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