The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has announced the closing down of recreational venues for five weeks as part of the efforts to contain the second wave of the Coronavirus.
FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, took the decision after an emergency COVID-19 meeting he chaired, a statement by the minister’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Anthony Ogunleye, said.
Bello decried the surge in the second wave of the pandemic, ascribing it to the lack of compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions by residents especially facial coverings in public, physical distancing and hand hygiene.
“Taking into consideration the surge in COVID-19 cases in the FCT, the PTF Guidelines issued on Tuesday December 21, and the authorization of President Muhammadu Buhari that sub-nationals should assume full ownership of this stage of the response against COVID-19, the FCT Administration hereby issues the following guidelines:
“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.” The statement added.
Social gatherings during the festive period have also been banned.
“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;
“Facilities for religious events are restricted to less than 50% of capacity of use during which physical distancing; mandatory use of face masks and hand hygiene are to be strictly enforced.
“Events of more than 50 persons are to be held outdoors only and virtual meetings are strongly encouraged,” the statement further said.
Transporters have been ordered to carry passengers not more than 50% of their capacity, while employees of the FCTA and the area councils on GL 12 and below are to work from home for the next five weeks.
Also, schools in the FCT are to remain on vacation until January 18, 2021.
“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,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Abuja Market Management Limited and the various market associations are to ensure compliance with use of face mask, hand washing and social distancing.
“The FCT Administration will not hesitate to close down any market or business premises found in contravention of these guidelines.
“Enforcement teams have been mandated to carry out the arrest of violators and prosecute them through the mobile courts system.
“Residents are enjoined to comply fully with all health and safety protocols to help curtail the spread of the virus in the FCT,” the statement warned.
Bello who undertook a tour of the Idu Isolation centre assured that the FCTA was upgrading the facilities in the centre to accommodate patients who might require use of oxygen.
The Ag Secretary of the Health and Human Services Secretariat, Dr Muhammed Kawu, said that the centre was fully functional as it had in place a 20-bed ward for patients that might require more intensive interventions.