COVID-19: Nigeria announces partial lockdown

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…Restricts gatherings to 50 persons
…Asks states to close bars, restaurant, others

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The federal government yesterday announced partial lockdown in the country as it restricted the number of guests at weddings, conferences, and other to 50 persons.
Also, the government asked advised states to immediately close all bars, nightclubs, and restaurants across the country.
The order followed the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic which hit the country. Last friday, Nigeria registered the highest daily figure of 1,145 of infections.
Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, who announced the new guidelines yesterday, said the restrictions and new guidelines are part of measures to limit the spread of the virus, saying that 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.”
He said: “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.”
He added: “All informal and formal festivity events including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, concerts, seminars, sporting activities, end of year events should be restricted to not more than 50 persons.
“Where more than 50 persons are attending, any such events, the gathering should be held outdoors only.”
Also, public transportation systems are to convey not more than 50 per cent of their capacity in compliance with social distancing rules and urged members of the public to “comply with all Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI) protocols especially the advisory on wearing of face masks in public spaces.”
He advised persons above the age of 60 years and/or with comorbidities to stay at home and avoid crowds and that all government staff on levels 12 and below should stay.
He said Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executives would be held accountable for enforcing Non Pharmaceutical interventions rules in their domains with frequent spot checks.
He charged them to “Encourage virtual meetings in government offices. The leadership of such offices are to ensure that all offices are well-ventilated offices, and encourage staff to work from home where possible” and that “All government staff on GL.12 and below are to stay at home for the next 5 weeks.”
The SGF said that schools should remain closed till at least January 18, 2021, “to enable the measures introduced to take effect.”

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