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Religious gathering, crossover night must not exceed 50% due to Omicron – FG

By Idowu Abdullahi

Following the surge in coronavirus cases, particularly outbreak of omicron variant, the Federal Government has ordered churches, mosques, and other religious houses to limit attendees at vigils and crossover events across the country to 50%.

It explained that the government was aware of significant of the crossover events on December 31st in various religious houses across the country, but also has the right to protect Nigerians from the deadly respiratory disease, particularly the Omicron that has been designated as variant of concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said that the restriction had become imperative following reduced compliance to public health social measures, which he said, has led to increased COVID-19 cases in the country.

Through a statement on Thursday, Mustapha, who also doubled as the Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, said that should there be increase in cases recorded across the country, the government would be forced to introduce more restrictions.

According to him, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 recognizes the importance of the Christmas and New Year celebrations for most Nigerians. As we prepare to celebrate with our families and loved ones, it is important that we do so safely by taking the necessary precautionary measures to stop the further spread of COVID-19 in our country.

“The PSC wishes to remind Nigerians that we are now experiencing the 4th wave COVID19 as new cases have continued to rise in the country. 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 SARS-CoV-2 variant now circulating in the country.

“Indoor religious congregation should be limited to 50% capacity with full compliance to public health social measures; face masks and hand sanitisers should be used at all times regardless of vaccination status while in public spaces,” the statement said.

Continuing, Mustapha said, “families are advised to limit the number of visitors to their homes and put in place precautionary safety measures. Any gathering in the excess of 50 people should be done in open spaces with physical distancing.

“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.”

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