Nigeria: No New Restrictions Over Covid-19 4th Wave Concerns, Federal Govt Clarifies

The federal government has said that there are no new restrictions over COVID-19, rather it reviewed the country's response in light of the rising trend in several countries and the high risk of a surge in cases in Africa.

Recall that on May 4, 2021, the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 took a precautionary step by restricting travel to Nigeria from three countries - Brazil, India and Turkey - where there is a high incidence of cases, high fatality rate and widespread prevalence of variants of concern.

Additionally, the PSC continued to reinforce the surveillance system at the country's points of entry.

The minister of information and culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed, who clarified the stance of the PSC during a meeting with online newspaper publishers in Lagos on Tuesday, said the committee only reintroduced some restrictions on movement and social interactions in the phase four of restrictions.

Mohammed said even when the government earlier eased the restrictions on COVID-19, the curfew between 12am and 4 am was still in place.

He, however, decried the situation where some Nigerians are behaving as if COVID-19 has gone and gone forever.

According to him, "But Nigerians are behaving as if COVID-19 has gone and gone forever, this is the mistake.

"India thought they conquered COVID-19 and political campaigns started, festivals started and to compound matters for them, the new variants of COVID appeared. They are now having 400,000 cases per day and 3,000 to 4,000 deaths daily.

"There are no new restrictions on COVID-19. The PSC was only reported out of context. The PSC on COVID-19 only introduced the fourth phase of ease of restriction and what we did was reviving the extant regulations on ground.

"Even when we eased the restrictions, the curfew between 12am and 4am is still on," the minister stressed.

He noted that every three months, PSC reviews the country's response to COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, "Every three months PSC do review where we are and where we are going and the only new thing we introduced is travel restraint. If you are coming from Brazil, Turkey, and India as a Nigerian you must go for compulsory quarantine.

"Nothing has changed, we have not opened nightclubs or gyms. The regulation on the use of face masks and social distancing is still in place. But nobody obeys it."

He said that Nigerians have been very fortunate even amidst the fact that Nigerians are indifferent about using a face mask.

"We we don't have health infrastructure to handle 3,000 cases a day. How many bed spaces do we have in Lagos?" he asked, adding that if it is the recklessness and abandonment, the nation would have lost more lives.

"The COVID-19 protocol is still in place but people have resumed 'owambe' parties now. Political rallies and so on which is a 'super spreader' for COVID-19.

"So there's are no new restrictions you can still travel by roads or by air. Please ensure you put on your face mask. If you have a party make sure it is less than 50 people. This is just what we have reiterated no new restrictions at all," he added.

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