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COVID-19: In new guidelines, Nigerian govt says people without face masks in public to be prosecuted

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The Federal Government has released new guidelines for the new phase of containment of COVID-19 from May 4 to May 17, 2020.

Part of the guidelines which were signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, stated that anyone without a face mask in public will be prosecuted.

The guidelines were also specific about information to the general public, guidance to states and security agencies and description of activities allowed under the new phase.

The SGF said, “Anyone who presents a temperature of above 38ºC will be mandated to return home and call NCDC for evaluation.

“Anyone without a face mask/covering will be asked to return home and will be prosecuted.

“Anyone violating the curfew in a non-emergency situation will be prosecuted. Anyone attending a gathering of more than 20 people will be prosecuted.

“Any member of the public who violates the ban on Inter-State movement as outlined in this guideline will be prosecuted.”

The statement also stated guidelines for the ease of lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the FCT.

It said, “Following improvements in the multisectoral response to COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government of Nigeria has decided that there will be a phased and gradual easing of the lockdown in Lagos and Ogun States as well as the Federal Capital Territory effective from Monday, 4th May 2020.

“The easing of the lockdown will be characterised by the mandatory use of non-medical face mask/covering for all persons while in public spaces. Latex hand gloves should not be worn except for specific medical purposes.

“The mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitizers in all public places. All interstate travel is prohibited except for essential travels and services such as transportation of agricultural products, petroleum products, relief items, goods, commodities related to the COVID-19 response, and persons on essential duty.”

The new advisory also prohibited the mass gathering of more than 20 people outside of a workplace while there would be controlled access to markets and locations of economic activities. The FG retained the ban on all passenger flights with religious gatherings also restricted.

For intra-state travel in public transport, the guideline recommended a maximum of 50 per cent of usual occupancy while taxis were ordered to carry only four persons including the driver.

“All schools to remain closed until further evaluation. Schools are encouraged to continue with e-learning and visual teaching. State governments and security agencies are enjoined to ensure effective and strict enforcement of these guidelines.

“The level of compliance with these guidelines will be reviewed in two weeks before additional guidelines for phase two is issued,” it added.

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