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January 23, 2021

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The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 on Monday issued fresh directives on how to curtail the spread of the virus, imposing a five weeks restriction on large gatherings.

Boss Mustapha, the PTF chairperson, and also Secretary to the Government of the Federation, made this known at the national media briefing in Abuja.

According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari has authorised the PTF to engage with the states and FCT to deploy legal structures and resources, including enforcement, to manage the pandemic within their jurisdictions.

The fresh directives followed the official declaration of a second wave of COVID-19 in the country.

Mr Mustapha 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.

“Restrict all informal and formal festivities including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, concerts, seminars and sporting activities.

“End of year events shall be restricted to not more than 50 people.

“Limit all gatherings linked to religious events to less than 50 percent 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 event, the gathering should be held outdoors only.”

The PTF chairman said that the public transportation systems were expected to carry passengers not more than 50 percent of their capacities in compliance with the social distancing rules.

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He said: “Enforce compliance with Non Pharmaceutical Intervention (NPI) protocols, especially the advisory on wearing of face masks in public spaces.

“Reduce overcrowding in public spaces, markets, shopping centres, offices and schools.

“States are advised to implement the following: Encourage virtual meetings in government offices.

“The leadership is to ensure that all offices are well-ventilated and encourage staff to work from home where possible.

“All government staff on GL.12 and below are to stay at home for the next five weeks; Permanent Secretaries and Chief Executives are to be held accountable for enforcing NPI rules in their domains with frequent spot checks.”

(NAN)





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