PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday advised Nigerians to avoid non-essential trips and large social gatherings as they celebrate the festive season.
He said if necessary, large gatherings should be completely avoided.
He later announced the extension of the mandates of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) till next year March.
This is coming following surge in the figure of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases in the country and emergence of new strain of the virus.
“As the festive season approaches, I urge you all Nigerians to remain vigilant and stay safe. Non-essential trips and large social gatherings should be avoided or shelved completely,” he disclosed via his verified social media handle.
“I am extending the mandate of the PTF on COVID-19 till the end of March 2021, bearing in mind the new surge in the number of cases, and the bid for vaccines.”
The President had earlier rolled out new restrictions advising state governments and appropriate authorities to comply with the spelt out safety guides.
He banned opening of public gatherings such as clubs, cool spot and restricted capacity of religious meetings to 50 per cent.
But, in his new message to Nigerians, he emphasised need to take urgent measures to halt the disease spread and its fatalities.
“Nigerians cannot afford to lose the gains of the last nine months,” he stated.
Speaking on the vaccines, he disclosed urgent need to access the injections and administer to Nigerians in a safe, effective and timely manner.
Administering the cure, he said is an important government obligation that must be fulfilled as the nation approaches 2021.
“Now is the time for collective efforts to be intensified. I, therefore, urge all sub-national entities, traditional rulers, religious and leaders of thought to collaborate with the PTF by taking up the responsibility for risk communication and community engagement at all levels.”
On December 21, Nigeria announced about 356 new cases.
But since inception of the pandemic, the country has recorded 78,790 confirmed cases, 68,483 discharged and 1,227 deaths.