The Federal Government has reintroduced COVID-19 restrictions across all 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Head of Technical Secretariat of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Dr Mukhtar Mohammed who made the announcement on Monday in Abuja said the new directive takes effect by midnight of Tuesday.
Mohammed, a member of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 also announced the imposement of a curfew which would take effect from midnight on Monday, 12am to 4am.
He also said bars and nightclubs should remain closed until further notice.
While stating that there was no limitation to intra-state travel, he advised that only essential international travels should be embarked upon with all existing protocols strictly adhered to.
Access to government institutions would also be denied to anyone not wearing a face mask while government meetings and travels have been limited to the virtual platform.
With the restrictions imposed, mass gatherings in public spaces have been restricted to 50 people at any given time.
On his part, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, said returning foreign passengers who fled the quarantine facilities and violated the compulsory requirement would not go unpunished.
He noted that the committee has received reports that some persons who recently returned to the country violated the mandatory quarantine requirement under the advisory by escaping from the facilities.
Mustapha, who is also the PSC Chairman, condemned the violation of the nation’s laws and hospitality, noting that the committee was awaiting the report of ongoing investigations and would impose appropriate sanctions on the violators
Reacting to the development, some Nigerians on social media claimed the government imposed the curfew to curtail rising cases of insecurity across the nation, adding that COVID-19 cases in the past few days have not been alarming.
Here are some comments gathered by Heritage Times from Twitter;
@WittySaleu “This new COVID regulations are meant for Muslims celebrating Sallah Horse riding festivals, but federal government simply can’t be seen banning gathering because of deteriorating security bedeviling the country, they rather choose Covid guidelines as a cover to hide their incapacitation. Shame.£
@Ukpai2d1 “It has nothing to do with COVID-19, it’s just fear of mass action.”
@Amos_abeeni “They want to intentionally run down Nigeria! This is preposterous, repugnant, baseless and a nuisance to growth and welfare of Nigerians.It is completely unacceptable as there are no genuine reasons for this action.”
@Sharon “Is it that we are in Nigeria somewhere else or what, which one is curfew.I was thinking the vaccine was being administered. When did the numbers increase?”
@Ekwelukwa “For what reason, COVID? No reliable data to back this order.”
@Od_hut “To curtail the spread of insecurity”. We have the COVID-19 data, and it’s not significantly high. I’d have appreciated an honest statement, considering the situation at hand. They don’t always have to hide behind things, be plain for once.”
@Topefasua “NCDC has declared an average of 38 NEW COVID infections and almost zero deaths in the last three weeks. So why kill the little businesses again. Note that the world is talking of an economic boom. FG should seriously invest in vaccines rather than free.”
@FaithDa ” This is for the physical insecurity in the country not for Coronavirus, the country is in shambles.”
@Akindulureniza “I’m sure it is because of the insecurity not COVID-19.”
@OgbodoKuchena “They are sensing a mass uprising. Lockdown is a subtle strategy to impede protests not COVID-19.”
@Odauduene “Where is data to back up this lockdown? Federal government is doing things out of involution.