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COVID-19: Nigeria removes ‘all restrictions’ on markets


A section of Balogun market, Lagos, on Friday, August 28, 2020. PHOTO: Tonye Bakare

The Nigerian Government Thursday said it has removed all restrictions imposed on markets as parts of the measures to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.


“Store owners must take responsibility and abide by all non-pharmaceutical interventions to safeguard the staff and patrons of their facilities,” the coordinator of Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Sani Aliyu said at a media briefing.

Aliyu said amusement parks, gyms and cinemas “can open but at half capacity and event centres that provide outdoor service spaces can open but indoor event centers.”

Despite the green light for markets to open fully, Aliyu said the government would still maintain “work at home policy for public servants below grade level 12.”

The virus has infected about 26.1 million people worldwide, with at least, 864, 000 people dead. Statistics from Nigeria’s National Centre for Disease Control showed that 1027 deaths from 54, 463 confirmed case have been recorded as of September 2.

Lagos State, the hardest hit in Nigeria, announced last week that universities and other tertiary institutions will resume on September 14. It set tentative resumption date of September 21 for primary and secondary schools.


The chairman of the task force and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said that the PTF believed that while Nigeria is not ready for a full re-opening of the economy but there has been sufficient progress to warrant significant further relaxation of the restrictions.

The six months mandate of the PTF was expected to expire this month.

But Mustapha said President Muhammadu Buhari has extended the mandate of the PTF till the end of December, 2020 in order to sustain a robust multi-sectoral national response, ensure that the country successfully navigate the community spread stage of the pandemic and srengthen its health system and other socio-economic infrastructure to enable them meet our national aspirations.


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