Nigeria reimposes curfew, other Covid-19 restrictions over deadly variants

Wednesday May 12 2021
Covid-19 in Nigeria

A security man stands at the main gate of Computer Village in Lagos, Nigeria, on May 18, 2020, to prevent access to the market in compliance with an extended lockdown as part of efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19. PHOTO | AFP



The Nigerian government has declared phase four of restriction of movements across the country with the reintroduction of curfew, among other restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly variants of Covid-19 recorded in some parts of the world.

The government approved the new measures on Monday, according to a statement signed by Mukhtar Mohammed, secretary of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on Covid-19 which is coordinating the national response to the epidemic.

Effective from Tuesday, the government reimposed a midnight to 4 am curfew across the country and revived other restrictions to hinder the spread of the deadly variants of Covid-19 recorded in India and Brazil, Mohammed said.

The closure of event centres and non-essential public places such as nightclubs in the country has been approved, until further notice, he said.

Among other imposed measures, he said that the gathering of religious groups has been reduced to 50 percent attendance, while official engagements, meetings, and conferences should continue to be held virtually.


Measures for schools

In addition, he said schools, which are currently in session in the country, have been ordered to continue the use of approved antigen-based rapid diagnostics tests as recommended by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control.

"All recreational venues, gyms, and indoor sports facilities are to close until June 11 when the situation will be reviewed. However, non-contact outdoor sports such as golf, polo, and tennis are not affected by these," he explained further.

The security agencies in the country have been tasked to enforce the measures while state governments are to set up a mobile tribunals for the prosecution of violators, the official said.

"The national response continues to focus on achieving a balance between preserving lives while working on long-term epidemic control. This phase four of restriction of movement shall come into effect... We shall maintain restrictions on mass gatherings of sidewalk settings, with a maximum of about 50 people in an enclosed space," he said.

"On April 26, the PSC took a precautionary step by restricting travel from Brazil, India and wherever observed high incidence of cases have a totally different and widespread prevalence for the virus," he added.