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FCT issues new guidelines to check spread of COVID-19

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Musa Bello


•Directs closure of bars, night clubs, others

The Federal Capital Territory [FCT] administration, yesterday, said all bars, night clubs, pubs, events and recreational centres in the territory are to remain closed for the next five weeks.

Also, all restaurants (except those providing services to hotel residents) takeaways, home deliveries and drive-ins are to remain closed.

The FCT also directed that all informal and formal festivities, including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, concerts, seminars, sporting activities and end of year events in the FCT are restricted to not more than 50 persons.

FCT Minister, Malam Muhammed Musa Bello, rolled out the directives to check the spread of COVID-19 in the nation’s capital.

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In a statement yesterday signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Anthony Ogunleye Bello, said FCT issued the directives, taking into consideration the surge in COVID-19 cases in the territory, the Presidential Task Force (PTF) guidelines issued on Tuesday December 21, and the authorisation of President Muhammadu Buhari that sub-nationals should assume full ownership of this stage of the response against COVID-19.

According to the statement, facilities for religious events are restricted to less than 50 per cent of capacity in terms of use during which physical distancing, mandatory use of face masks and hand hygiene are to be strictly enforced.

The minister stated that events that are of more than 50 persons are to be held outdoors only and virtual meetings are strongly encouraged. Commercial drivers are to carry passengers not more than 50 per cent of the capacity of their vehicles in compliance with social distancing rules.

All employees of the Federal Capital Territory Administration and the six area councils of the FCT on GL 12 and below are to work from home for the next five weeks;.

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‘’The heads of the various secretariats, departments and agencies are to be responsible for compliance. All schools in the FCT are to remain on vacation until, at least, 18th of January 2021.”

According to the statement, all non-essential travels within and outside the FCT are highly discouraged, and residents above 60 years of age with co-morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes, are strongly advised to remain indoors.

‘’The Abuja Market Management Limited and the various market associations should work together to ensure compliance with all the guidelines on facial coverings, hand hygiene and physical distancing. The FCT administration will not hesitate to close down any market or business premises found in contravention of these guidelines,’’ the minister warned.

Bello also warned that enforcement teams have been mandated to arrest violators and prosecute them through the mobile courts system.

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