THE Nigerian government has ordered the closure of all bars and recreational centres, placing a limit on public gatherings across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) due to COVID-19.
The National Incident Manager Mukhtar Mohammed, who is a member of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, announced the new directive on Monday during a briefing in Abuja.
Mohammed said the new curfew would take effect by midnight of Tuesday, noting that public gatherings had been reduced to 50 persons.
On the basis of the new restriction, Mohammed said it was in connection with the delay in vaccinating a large proportion of the Nigerian population which held a risk of a large outbreak.
He also stated that there were strong concerns about the non-compliance to public health and social measures, which were contained in the Health Protection Regulation 2021.
He further noted that anyone without a facemask would not be allowed into government institutions across the country.
According to Mohammed, all official engagements, meetings and conferences were to be conducted through virtual channels while travels had also been limited.
Mohammed disclosed that the closure of bars and nightclubs across the nation would be in place until further notice.
Unlike the first phase of national lockdown in 2020, Mohammed stated that intra-states travels were not banned but only essential international travels would be encouraged with adherence to protective measures.
The committee directed security personnel across the 36 states and the FCT to enforce the adherence to the measures put in place.
Despite recorded cases of COVID-19 infections and deaths, a documentary by The ICIR had revealed how many Nigerians continued to show scepticism about the virus.
Since the index case was recorded in February 2020, Nigeria has recorded more than 165,000 positive cases of the virus, while 2,065 persons have died from it with 156,000 discharged.
The Nigerian government has also vaccinated more than 1 million out of its estimated 200 million population.