The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has warned that it may be forced to consider the introduction of additional restrictions on gatherings and curfews if the current surge in the number of COVID-19 cases continues.
Chairman of the committee and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, sounded the warning in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.
Mustapha said the warning became expedient with the nation experiencing the fourth wave of COVID-19 and with the celebration of the festive period.
He appealed to Nigerians to imbibe the culture of citizens’ responsibility and observe safety measures to reduce community transmission of COVID-19 during the festive period.
In the statement, Mustapha enjoined that indoor religious congregation should be limited to 50 per cent capacity with full compliance to COVID-19 protocols.
Similarly, he admonished that any gathering in excess of 50 people should be done in open spaces with physical distancing.
He reminded Nigerians on the need to continue to comply to COVID-19 safety measures in order to reduce the surge of new COVID-19 cases which may overburden the country’s healthcare system.
He advised Nigerians to take the full dose of COVID-19 vaccination, including the booster dose, to reduce their risk of infection and death in case of exposure to the virus.
He urged Nigerians to avoid activities that involve mass gathering especially in enclosed spaces and celebrate the Christmas and New Year holidays responsibly.
“Nigeria is now experiencing the fourth wave of COVID-19 as new cases have continued to rise.
“This is the result of a mix of very low vaccination coverage, increased travels and movements, reduced compliance to public health social measures and highly transmissible Omicron SARSCoV-2 variant now circulating in the country.
“Any gathering in excess of 50 people should be done in open spaces with physical distancing.
“Indoor religious congregation should be limited to 50 per cent capacity with full compliance to public health social measures; and face masks and hand sanitisers should be used at all times regardless of vaccination status while in public spaces;
“Avoid non-essential interstate travel at this period as this increases the risk of spreading infection from one place to another.
“People who intend to travel are encouraged to take a rapid COVID-19 test to confirm status as many infected persons are asymptomatic;
“Ensure that you have taken the full dose of COVID-19 vaccination, including the booster dose to reduce your risk of severe infection and death in case of exposure to COVID-19.”