Apparently, due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the federal government on Thursday, December 23, 2021, restricted religious gathering to 50 percent with full compliance to public health measures even as it threatened to introduce more restrictions should there be increase in cases of the virus.
In a press statement issued and signed by the Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, PSC, Boss Mustapha noted that this is the time of the year religious organisations hold crossover services on December 31 every year to usher in the New Year.
Due to the number of attendees of such events across the country, the PSC said there has been reduced compliance to public health social measures which has led to increased COVID-19 cases in the country.
According to the statement, “The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 recognizes the importance of the Christmas and New Year celebrations for most Nigerians. As we prepare to celebrate with our families and loved ones, it is important that we do so safely by taking the necessary precautionary measures to stop the further spread of COVID-19 in our country.
“The PSC wishes to remind Nigerians that we are now experiencing the 4th wave COVID-19 as new cases have continued to rise in the country. This is the result of a mix of very low vaccination coverage, increased travels and movements, reduced compliance to public health social measures, and highly transmissible Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant now circulating in the country.
It further added that “Indoor religious congregation should be limited to 50 percent capacity with full compliance to public health social measures; face masks and hand sanitisers should be used at all times regardless of vaccination status while in public spaces.
“Families are advised to limit the number of visitors to their homes and put in place precautionary safety measures. Any gathering in the excess of 50 people should be done in open spaces with physical distancing.
“Avoid non-essential interstate travel at this period as this increases the risk of spreading infection from one place to another. People who intend to travel are encouraged to take a rapid COVID-19 test to confirm status as many infected persons are asymptomatic.
“Ensure that you have taken the full dose of COVID-19 vaccination including the booster dose to reduce your risk of severe infection and death in case of exposure to COVID-19.”