Nigeria’s federal government has warned that it might impose restrictions on gatherings, including curfew if the current surge in the number of COVID-19 cases continues.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha issued the threat Thursday in a statement in Abuja .
He also urged Nigerians to celebrate responsibly during the Christmas and New Year holiday seasons and celebrations.
“As we prepare to celebrate with our families and loved ones, it is important that we do so safely by taking the necessary precautionary measures to stop the further spread of COVID-19 in our country,” Mustapha said.
He reminded Nigerians that the country was experiencing the fourth wave of the coronavirus as new cases have continued to rise.
He said, “This is the result of a mix of very low vaccination coverage, increased travels and movements, reduced compliance to public health social measures and highly transmissible Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant now circulating in the country.”
He reiterated the need for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of citizen’s responsibility and observe the safety measures put in place by the government to reduce community transmission of COVID- 19 during the festive period.
He said, “Avoid activities that involve mass gathering especially in enclosed spaces, as follows; Families are advised to limit the number of visitors to their homes and put in place precautionary safety measures; any gathering in excess of 50 people should be done in open spaces with physical distancing.
“Indoor religious congregation should be limited to 50 per cent capacity with full compliance to public health social measures; and Face masks and hand sanitizers should be used at all times regardless of vaccination status while in public spaces.
“Avoid non-essential interstate travel at this period as this increases the risk of spreading infection from one place to another. People who intend to travel are encouraged to take a rapid COVID-19 test to confirm status as many infected persons are asymptomatic.
“Ensure that you have taken the full dose of COVID-19 vaccination including the booster dose to reduce your risk of severe infection and death in case of exposure to COVID-19; and “Seize the opportunity provided by the mass-vaccination campaign to ensure that your family and loved ones receive their COVID-19 vaccines including the 3rd dose (booster shot) at the nearest vaccination centre.”
Mustapha also reminded Nigerians about the need to continue to comply to COVID-19 safety measures in order to reduce the surge of new COVID-19 cases, warning that the country’s healthcare system is already overburdened.
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja