By Olawale Ajimotokan
The FCT Administration has approved new guidelines on controlling of the spread of COVID- 19 in the territory and effectively approved the closure of bars, night clubs, pubs, events and recreational venues for the next five weeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
An emergency meeting chaired by FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello to contain the spread of the second wave of the pandemic ratified the guidelines Wednesday.
The FCT is regarded as one of the epicenters in this second wave. Also all informal and formal festivity events, including weddings, conferences, congresses, office parties, concerts, seminars, sporting activities, end of year events among others are restricted to not more than 50 persons.
It warned that enforcement teams have been mandated to carry out the arrest of violators and prosecute them through the mobile courts system.
The emergency meeting ascribed the surge in coronavirus infections to the lack of compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions by residents especially facial coverings in public, physical distancing and hand hygiene.
All restaurants, except those providing services to hotel residents; takeaways, home deliveries and drive-ins are to remain closed.
Public transportation systems are to carry passengers not more than 50 per cent of their capacity in compliance with social distancing rules while facilities for religious events are restricted to less than 50 per cent of capacity of use during which physical distancing, mandatory use of face masks and hand hygiene are to be strictly enforced.
Also all employees of the FCTA and the six Area Councils of the FCT on GL 12 and below are to work from home for the next five weeks while 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 January 18, 2021.
It also urged the Abuja Market Management Limited and the various market associations to ensure compliance of all the guidelines on facial coverings, hand hygiene and physical distancing.
It said it would not hesitate to close down any market or business premises found in contravention of these guidelines.