Nigerian government on Monday announced a slew of new COVID-19 restrictions as coronavirus cases continue to surge in some countries, reported Eyewitness News.
Although Nigeria has been registering a steady decline in new cases of the virus in recent months, the rapid surges in India, Brazil and Turkey have raised fears of a third wave of the pandemic in Africa’s most populous nation.
Addressing reporters in Abuja, Mukhtar Mohammed of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) said there was need to take urgent action despite already having imposed travel restrictions on Brazil, India and Turkey.
He said the Nigerian government decided to impose the restrictions due to the peoples’ non-compliance with the safety and health guidelines in place.
Mohammed added that the anti-coronavirus measures will help to mitigate the risk of a spike in new cases while the nationwide vaccine rollout continues.
Under the new measures, bars, nightclubs, pubs, event centres as well as recreational venues will remain closed throughout the country. The number of people allowed at weddings and religious gatherings has been reduced to half, while official engagements, meetings, and conferences should be held online.
“Approved gatherings must be held with physical distancing measures and with other non-pharmaceutical measures in place,” Mohammed said.
Nigerian government had imposed restrictions and lockdowns in March last year to curb the spread of the coronavirus. But those restrictions were relaxed after a drop in the number of virus cases in the country.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has so far reported 165,419 coronavirus cases and claimed 2,065 lives since the first case was reported in the country in February last year, according to official figures. The country registered 37 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday.
A total of 1.7 million vaccine jabs have been given to health workers and other vulnerable groups in the country.