Covid-19: Gatherings beyond 20 people prohibited- FG to Governors

By Oluwaseun Sonde

Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 has advised Governors on the decision taken by some of their colleagues to permit large gatherings as such decisions could inadvertently endanger the elderly, the sick and those with underlying factors during such gatherings as the strong advisory from the PTF is that large gatherings beyond twenty persons remains prohibited.

Chairman of PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha disclosed this at Press Conference in Abuja on Thursday, he said the foregoing admonition becomes critical as Nigerians prepare for celebrations at the end of the month of Ramadan. He used this opportunity to wish all Muslim brothers and sisters a very happy and safe Eid celebrations. “But as we celebrate, we want to once again caution on the need to wear a mask, keep physical distances, avoid large congregations, avoid unnecessary inter-state travels and observe personal hygiene amongst other suggested safety measures.

According to him, “On Monday, 18th May, 2020 when we briefed the Nation on the next steps of our National Response as approved by Mr. President. I mentioned that the guidelines for this phase would be explained in details and published. I am pleased to inform you that the document is now ready and the National Coordinator will present it today. <

“This would further clarify any ambiguity hitherto perceived and no doubt clearly let us know where each and every one of us stand in playing our roles to make the guidelines work. For sometimes now, the PTF has consistently answered questions and provided explanations on the categories of persons and services exempted from some aspects of these guidelines particularly as it relates to restrictions on inter- state movement and curfew”, he said .

He added that for the avoidance of doubt, essential workers including our indefatigable medical personnel, diligent journalists, courageous fire service personnel, telecommunications workers, are all exempted.

“The Inspector General of Police has further clarified the categories of essential workers in alignment with the guidelines and has issued instructions to security agents to work on the approved exemptions. With this clarification, we sincerely hope that the persistent complaints of harassment by these categories of essential workers, especially medical personnel and journalists would be put to rest so that we can harmoniously work in battling this pandemic”, he said.

The PTF COVID-19 urged all essential workers to go about their legitimate businesses carrying with them valid means of identification and to exercise courtesy in approaching security personnel. “Through the surveillance system set up by the PTF, we have received reports that Nigerians have been purchasing Hydrxoychloroquine in large quantities.

“We wish to reiterate that this drug has not being certified for use in treating COVID-19 in Nigeria by the relevant health and pharmaceutical authorities. Self-medication of any kind, is fraught with the danger of increasing risks of avoidable casualties. We, therefore strongly warn against self-medication. If you are sick, please seek medical advice and if you are confirmed positive, kindly self-isolate in an approved facility. The COVID-19 is highly infectious and dangerous”, he said.

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