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A traveller being checked for high temperatur at the Lagos airport on 11 July/Photo: ChannelsTV

Nigeria imposes new lockdown measures as COVID-19 cases rise again

Nigeria’s federal government has imposed new nationwide restrictions amid rising cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in various parts of the country.

Mr Boss Mustapha, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, announced this on Monday at the briefing of the task force in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He explained that the directives were advisories issued to state authorities for implementation in the next five weeks.

The new restrictions include the closure of all bars, nightclubs, pubs and event centres, as well as recreational venues in all states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

All restaurants were also directed to close, except those providing services to hotel residents, takeaways, home deliveries, and drive-ins.

Similarly, all informal and formal festivity events, including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, concerts, seminars, sporting activities, end of year events, have been restricted to not more than 50 people.

The government also limited all gatherings linked to religious events to less than 50 per cent of the capacity of the facility of use which physical distancing and use of face masks should be strictly enforced.

According to Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), events where more than 50 people are attending should be held outdoors only.

He added that public transportation systems should carry passengers not more than 50 per cent of their capacity, in compliance with social distancing rules.

According to the World Health Organisation, COVID-19 cases in Africa have risen steadily over the past two months, underscoring the need for reinforced public health measures to avert a surge in infections, particularly as people gather or travel for end-of-year celebrations.

Kola Tella

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