The Federal Government has denied media reports that it has reintroduced new Covid-19 restrictions as part of measures to curb the spread of the new India variant into the country.
The government explained that it was only maintaining the curfew under phase 4 of the phased restriction of movement adding that it never relaxed the curfew imposed earlier under phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
This clarification was made by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee, (PSC) on Covid-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, on Monday, saying that it was erroneously reported.
Mustapha said the announcement by the National Incident Manager, Dr Mukhtar Mohammed, during the PSC press briefing was taken out of context because the federal government did not relax the curfew imposed earlier under Phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
What the SGF is saying
Mustapha said, “Under the Fourth Phase of restriction of movement, night clubs, gyms and others will remain closed till further notice; while all citizens will also ensure that mass gatherings outside work settings do not exceed a maximum of 50 people in an enclosed space.
These restrictions have been in existence under the Third Phase but are being maintained under Phase Four of the phased restriction of movement.’’
He further said because people had been violating the safety protocols, they had forgotten that the protocols were never relaxed in the first place.
The SGF said, “Therefore, the PSC hereby reiterates that there is no newly introduced lockdown. There is no need for the panic that followed the announcement of the Fourth Phase of the phased restriction of movement.
We will continue to appeal to members of the public to comply with these restrictions because they are necessary safety measures against contracting the dreaded coronavirus, which is still ravaging human populations across the world.’’
Also, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, at a meeting with Online Publishers on Tuesday, in Lagos, denied reports on the introduction or even reintroduction of new restrictions on Covid-19.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed said there were no new restrictions, adding that the PSC on Covid-19 only reiterated existing regulations to control the spread of the disease. He said the only thing that was newly introduced was that anyone, including Nigerians travelling from Brazil, Turkey or India, must go through compulsory quarantine.
In case you missed it
It can be recalled that there were media reports that the Federal Government had reintroduced Covid-19 restrictions across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) following the disturbing resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic with the new India variant.
President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the transition of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19 to PSC on Covid-19, with effect from April 1, 2021, with a modified mandate to reflect the non-emergent status of Covid-19 as a potentially long-term pandemic.