… Clampdown on mass gathering at Christmas
By Stanley Onyekwere
Following the arrival of the second waive of the deadly Coronavirus otherwise known as COVID-19, the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 (PTF) has urged the FCT Administration to reactivate its COVID-19 Protocols Enforcement Task Team to curtail the spread in the Territory.
The PTF emphasised the need for aggressive enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines that would come with clear penalties for any violation.
National Coordinator of PTF
Dr. Sani Aliyu, gave the advice during an Emergency FCT COVID-19 Stakeholders Review Meeting held yesterday, in Abuja.
Aliyu reiterated that mass gathering should be restricted to not than 50 persons preparably outdoors and there must be wearing of facemasks.
He noted that PTF only recommended that restaurants should be allowed to operate outdoors, however, lamented that all restaurants have opened indoors.
“This has to be enforce, they can provide takeaways otherwise they should close for the Christmas period because it is an area that attracts people for mass gathering. Our aimed is to stop the super spreader event over the next six weeks.
“ My recommendation is that all the sites that are currently serving as attractive points for mass gathering should be closed for the next six weeks to takeout the Christmas rise in case.
“ There should be inspection team going round Abuja to monitor and ensure compliance.
“ Any business premises or markets found accepting people without wearing of facemasks and allow people to mix anyhow those premise should be closed.
“ The same apply to shopping centres, the same applies to motor parks and other commercial premises,” Aliyu said.
Earlier, the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello noted that the objective of the meeting was to review the Covid-19 saga, particularly in the light of the second wave of covid-19 which heat the FCT two weeks ago.
Bello, who decried non adherence to all Covid-19 precautionary measures and protocols in the FCT, assured that there would be massive enforcement.
“ Because that is the only way we can ensure that lives are saved and protected.
“ We all have to appreciate that Covid-19 is here, it has come back with vengeance.
“ It is killing people and that reality is something that we all leaders both religious, traditional and government officials have to go back to our various communities and send this message.
“ We know that there is fatigue everybody is tired of covid-19 but the reality is that it is here.
“ We all need to have our internal motivation and strength to be able to really take a very good leap to make sure that we jointly fight the second wave of covid-19 pandemic,” Bello said.
On his part, the lone FCT Senator, Philip Aduda, commended the FCT Minister for conveying the stakeholders meeting, to enable them to know that the second wave of COVID-19 was serious.
Aduda urged FCT residents to adhere strictly to all COVID-19 precautionary guidelines such as wearing of facemasks, observing physical distancing and regular washing of hands.
“ There must be reorientation and we must talk to the people for them to know that the second wave of covid-19 pandemic is serious.
“ People should go back to their facemasks and go back to what happened in March this year, so that this Christmas we can enjoy it, be happy and celebrate with our loved ones,” Aduda said.
It could be recalled reports that the meeting was necessitated by the increase number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Territory.