Nigeria has now recorded over 77,000 cases of COVID-19 with 1,212 deaths. Due to the rising spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and state governments have imposed a ban on large gatherings.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Friday, December 18, 2020, banned concerts, carnivals, street parties and nightclubs.

His counterpart in Ebonyi state, Governor David Umahi and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mohammed Bello, have also imposed same the restrictions in their domains. 

The governors said the restriction was meant to address the second wave of the virus, which rose to 77,013 on Friday, December 18, 2020.

The number of deaths has also risen from 1,201 to 1,212.

Announcing the ban on Friday, governor Sanwo-Olu in statement said it was wrong and dangerous for the public to think the pandemic is over.

Sanwo-Olu, who reinstated the 12 am to 4 am curfew imposed on the state by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 said event centres and night clubs reopened in reckless disregard for COVID-19 guidelines. 

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the state Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi. (BBC)Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the state Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi. (BBC) 

He said, “We cannot afford to relax the battle against COVID-19’, the governor described as overwhelming the non-compliance of places of worship with the guidelines in both their regular and special gatherings organised to commemorate the season.

“All public servants from Grade Level 14 and below, except emergency workers and first responders, are to work from home as from Monday, December 21 for the next 14 days in the first instance.

“All schools must shut down with immediate effect, and until further notice. Concerts, carnivals and street parties are banned in Lagos State until further notice.

“Nightclubs have not been allowed to open yet. All nightclubs in Lagos must immediately shut down, until further notice. The midnight to 4am curfew imposed by the Federal Government remains in place. The protocol of ‘No Mask No Entry’ must be enforced by all public places: offices, businesses, markets, shops and so on.”

The governor also enjoined all places of worship, including churches and mosques, to ensure that no gathering exceeds 50 per cent of the maximum capacity of the venue.

He added that “Security agents have been mandated to ensure full enforcement, without exception. No one will be deemed to be above the law. Any and all breaches of these regulations and public health protocols will lead to immediate closure as well as attract heavy fines and any other sanctions and penalties deemed fit, in line with the Lagos State Infectious Diseases Control Regulation 2020.”

Sanwo-Olu also warned unaccredited private hospitals against treating COVID-19 patients, adding that private test centres issuing fake results would be prosecuted without hesitation.

As part of efforts to curb the spread of the disease, governor Umahi too has directed that church services should not be held beyond two hours across the state. 

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi [thewillnigeria]Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi [thewillnigeria] 

Umahi also called on corporate organisations and leadership of motor parks, to observe all the COVID-19 protocols.

He said, “The second wave is already with us. We have not started experiencing it in the South-East. We must go back and observe the protocols. Services should not last more than two hours. Four hundred and fifty persons should be tested in each LGA. I have suspended large gatherings in Ebonyi.

“The usual Night of Praise will be shifted to January. We have decided to shift our Thanksgiving Service to the Ecumenical Centre. You must go with face masks. All treatment centres should be reactivated.”

Similarly in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration has issued fresh COVID-19 guidelines to regulate marketplaces, worship centres and workplaces. 

The FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello while announcing the guidelines on Friday said enforcement teams would be out on the streets to ensure compliance. 

 Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello imposes restrictions in Abuja to curb COVID-19. (Premium Times) Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello imposes restrictions in Abuja to curb COVID-19. (Premium Times)

Bello said, “No mask, no entry, no service. All office and business premises must have a hand-wash station with running water and soap or hand sanitiser. Employees who are feeling unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms should notify their supervisors immediately or stay at home and seek medical attention to confirm diagnosis by doing a COVID-19-test”.

The minister said there was an urgent need to contain the growing spread of the virus saying COVID-19 figures in the last three weeks have been unacceptably high in the FCT. 

Source: Pulse Nigeria

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