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Second COVID-19 Wave: FCT Restricts Gatherings, Rolls Out Measures

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Boko Haram Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says all informal and formal events including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties concert and others in the territory are restricted to not more than 50 persons.

The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, made the announcement in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Anthony Ogunleye on Wednesday in Abuja.

Bello explained that the measure was part of resolution of an emergency COVID-19 meeting to contain the spread of the second wave of the pandemic in the territory.

He added that the meeting was informed that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) in its briefing, had described the FCT as one of the epicenters in this second wave.

According to the minister, the reason for the surge was attributed to the lack of compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions by residents especially facial coverings in public, physical distancing and hand hygiene.

” Consequently, all bars, night clubs, pubs, events and recreational venues in the FCT are to remain closed for the next five weeks.

” All restaurants, except those providing services to hotel residents; takeaways, home deliveries and drive-ins are to remain closed.

“All informal and formal festivity events including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, concerts, seminars, sporting activities, end of year events etc in the FCT are restricted to not more than 50 persons.

” Similarly, facilities for religious events are restricted to less than 50 per cent of capacity of use during which physical distancing; mandatory use of face masks and hand hygiene are to be strictly enforced.”

Bello said that events of more than 50 persons are to be held outdoors only and virtual meetings are strongly encouraged.

The minister also said that public transportation systems are to carry passengers not more than 50 per cent of their capacity in compliance with social distancing rules.

He noted that all employees of the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the six Area Councils of the FCT on Grade Level 12 and below are to work from home for the next five weeks.

He directed heads of the various Secretariats, Departments and Agencies to be responsible for compliance, adding that all schools in the FCT are to remain on vacation until January 18, 2021.

The minister stated that all non-essential travels within and outside the FCT are highly discouraged and residents above 60 years old with comorbidities such as hypertension and diabetes are strongly advised to remain indoors.

Bello urged the Abuja Market Management Ltd. and the various market associations to work together to ensure compliance of all the guidelines on facial coverings, hand hygiene and physical distancing.

He warned that the FCT Administration would not hesitate to close down any market or business premises found in contravention of these guidelines.

” As resolved in its stakeholders meeting held on Dec. 14, the FCT Administration remains committed to enforcing all COVID-19 guidelines as issued.

” Enforcement teams have been mandated to carry out the arrest of violators and prosecute them through the mobile courts system,” Bello said.

The minister enjoined residents to comply fully with all health and safety protocols to help curtail the spread of the virus in the FCT.

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