No fresh lockdown over COVID-19 – FG

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The Federal Government on Tuesday clarified that it has not declared a fresh lockdown of the country following confirmation of a second wave of COVID-19.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave this clarification when he featured on a Radio Nigeria programme, “Politics Nationwide’’, monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

The minister said the directives and position of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 at its briefing on Monday, did not translate to partial or total lockdown as reported in some sections of the media.

He allayed the fears of Nigerians and some listeners that called-in during the programme that a lockdown might have negative effects on the already stressed economy.

Mohammed explained that what the Federal Government had done was to reduce the chances of mass gathering by directing its workers from Level 12 below to work from home.

He said the government also reiterated already existing ban on night clubs and other COVID-19 protocols.

“The Federal Government has not declared a fresh lockdown.

“What we have done is that we have simply reiterated the old protocols and asked federal workers on Level 12 and below to stay at home and they will still receive their salaries.

“Lagos state has equally asked their level 14 workers and below to work from home and Kaduna state has done the same.

“Therefore, there is no fresh lockdown and the issue of hardship and economy meltdown does not arise,’’ he said.

The minister said that the government also reminded Nigerians that the ban on social gathering is still on and Churches and Mosques should obey the social gathering rules.

He said the directive is to curtail people from gathering because they found out that COVID had reached level of community transmission.

Mohammed said the protocols on foreign travels subsist to the effect that those travelling to Nigeria would not be able to come on board unless they have the certificate that they tested negative for the virus.

He said when they arrive into the country, they must self-isolate for seven days after which they would go back for confirmation test.

NAN reports that during the briefing on Monday, the Chairman of PTF, Boss Mustapha advised states to immediately close all bars, nightclubs, and restaurants across the country.

He said the number of guests at weddings, conferences, among others had also been limited to 50 persons.

Mustapha, who is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the new guidelines are part of measures to limit the spread of the virus.

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