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COVID-19: FG issues fresh measures for churches, mosques

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THE federal government has issued fresh measures for the operations of mosques and churches.

  Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, made this known in a statement he issued yesterday.

  Stressing that violators of the new safety measures would be decisively dealt with, Mustapha said President Muhammadu Buhari approved them as part of government’s effort to keep Nigeria free from the looming second wave of COVID-19.

  According to the release, worship centres have been directed not to exceed 50 per cent of their carrying capacities.

  He also said that events with more than 50 persons should be held outdoors, but explained that the measures would be in force for five weeks.

  “The PTF has surveyed developments and actions taken by governments around the world, assessed our domestic environment, and has accordingly submitted its recommendations to Mr. President on immediate measures to be taken. Accordingly, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has authorised the PTF to engage with the states and the FCT to assume full ownership of this stage of the response by deploying legal structures and resources, including enforcement to manage the pandemic within their jurisdictions. 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: limit all gatherings linked to religious events to less than 50 per cent 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 events, the gathering should be held outdoors only; close all bars, night clubs, pubs and event centres, and recreational venues; close all restaurants except those providing services to hotel residents,” the release directs.

  Similarly, the federal government yesterday said that schools in the country would remain shut till January 18, 2021.

  Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, disclosed this at a press briefing in Abuja.

  “All government staff on Grade Level 12 and below are to stay at home for the next 5 weeks.  All persons above the age of 60yrs and or with comorbidities are to be encouraged to stay at home and avoid crowds. All non-essential travels – both domestic and international during the holiday season are seriously discouraged,” Mustapha said.

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