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The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has promised to relax more restrictions caused by the pandemic.

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As the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Nigeria continues to drop, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has announced that the use of face masks in public places is henceforth optional and noted that other coronavirus restrictions will soon be removed. The Presidential Steering Committee further disclosed that it would stop the demand for PCR tests proof from travellers that are fully vaccinated.

Dr Mukhtar Mohammed who doubles as the Head of the Technical Secretariat and the Secretary of the PSC made this information public during an interview with Punch.

We are easing up restrictions, but it’s important we do so responsibly,’’ Mukhtar disclosed.

Last week, we suspended the limit placed on public gatherings, curfews and other social measures.

The use of face masks in open spaces is now discretionary.

We shall not hesitate to remove all mandates once the disease is no longer of public health consequence. We are aware that cases are rising in the Western Pacific and Eastern Europe. The US just mandated a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine for adults older than 50. We fear a reversal of the pandemic situation, where largely unvaccinated poor countries will be made to bear the burden, because the West has developed very high immunity through large scale vaccination.

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Mukhtar also noted that the upcoming Easter holidays pose a big threat to successes recorded in fighting the virus, but is optimistic about the chances of the country scaling through.

Our biggest fear now is the upcoming Easter holidays. If we are able to cross and the cases continue to go down with no significant increase in hospitalisation and death, then certainly, we will lower down our level of alertness and relax most of the measures,’’

he revealed.

We are working with data and algorithms to determine our line of action. Everything depends on what happens next. We learn from other countries, but we don’t have to necessarily copy what they are doing. Every country should evaluate its risk and take responsibility,’’

Dr Mukhtar concluded.



Punch NG

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This article was first published on 1st April 2022


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