Buhari rolls out measures to stop COVID-19 spread
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday signed a law to check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This was disclosed by the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, while handing over five ambulances donated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Federal Ministry of Health on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mustapha disclosed that the bill, titled “COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations 2021”, is an exercise of the powers as conferred on the president (Muhammadu Buhari) by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act.
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“The regulations enforce physical distancing of at least two metres and regulation of the number of people to be admitted in an enclosed environment
“In the exercise of the powers conferred upon me by Section 4 of the Quarantine Act, Cap. Q2 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2010 and all other powers enabling me in that behalf; and in consideration of the urgent need to protect the health and wellbeing of Nigerians in the face of the widespread and rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, I, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, hereby make the following Regulations:
“The first part of the new regulations imposes restrictions of gatherings and enforces a physical distancing of not less than two meters between persons at all times.
“The part also provides that no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50 per cent capacity of the space.
“All persons in public gatherings, whether in enclosed or open spaces, shall adhere to the provisions of Part two of these Regulations.
“The provisions of these regulations may be varied by Guidelines and Protocols as may be issued, from time to time, by the PTF on COVID-19 on the recommendation of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“The second part of the law addresses operations of public places like open markets, malls, supermarkets, shops, restaurants, hotels, event centres, gardens, leisure parks, recreation centres, motor parks and fitness centres.
“The law provides for wearing of face masks, hands washing, and the use of hand sanitisers, amongst other regulations.
“It stipulates a penalty of a fine or a prison of six months for offenders.”
President Muhammadu Buhari said that the law took immediate effect.
On the donation made by the NNPC , the PTF chairman said that the NNPC gave the ambulances to the PTF as part of its support to government-led efforts in curtailing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
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Mustapha said the ambulances donated would be used to support the country’s response to the pandemic and the Emergency Operations Centres to expand the current capacity for transportation of cases.
He also acknowledged the support of the NNPC in its fight against the virus, saying “We are grateful to the NNPC for the donation of ambulances to the PTF. We also thank all individuals and corporate organisations that have continued to donate to the government’s effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Meanwhile, Mustapha said those exposed to COVID-19 should please quarantine and isolate themselves.
“Please don’t go out – to work, socialize or elsewhere – if you’ve been exposed or have symptoms.
“Travel is risky – best to avoid it if you can but if you must, take precautions including quarantine and testing.
“Remember COVID-19 can spread from people that look and feel well. Don’t let your guard down around friends or relatives just because they look healthy – they may not know they are infected but can unintentionally spread COVID-19,” he caustioned.
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BREAKING: PDP Suspends Anyim, Fayose
Former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose; former president of the Senate, Pius Anyim; Prof Dennis Ityavyar and Aslam Aliyu were on Thursday suspended from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).
The PDP made the suspension on Thursday after an extensive review of the affairs of the party, pursuant to the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017).
The PDP also referred the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom, to the National Disciplinary Committee over his reported involvement in anti-party activities.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.
“The PDP urges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to remain united and focused at this critical time,” the statement added.
BREAKING: Ekweremadu, Wife Found Guilty Of Organ-trafficking In UK
A United Kingdom court has found former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, 60, his wife Beatrice, 56, and Dr Obinna Obeta, 50, guilty of an organ-trafficking plot, which saw them bring a 21-year-old man to the UK
They were convicted of conspiring to exploit the man from Lagos for his kidney, reports the BBC.
Prosecutors told the Old Bailey the organ was to be removed and given to the couple’s daughter, Sonia, aged 25.
She was cleared of the same charge.
The victim, a street trader from Lagos, was brought to the UK last year to provide a kidney in an £80,000 private transplant at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
They were later arrested at the airport while trying to leave the UK.
NLC Orders Workers To Shut CBN Offices Nationwide Over Naira Scarcity
Worried about the continued scarcity of naira, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has officially declared a nationwide . The national president of the union, Joe Ajaero, gave the directive during a media briefing in Abuja.
Ajaero also directed that affiliate unions constituting the NLC should be on standby for picketing exercises across all branches of the Central Bank of Nigeria nationwide.
The NLC earlier issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to end the petrol and cash scarcity being experienced in the country.
Ajaero told journalists on Wednesday that the industrial action became the last resort of the NLC following the expiration of the ultimatum.
He said the decision to picket the CBN branches became necessary as the federal government and the CBN had failed to show any commitment to addressing the situation.
Ajaero lamented that despite the Supreme Court order that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023, the situation kept getting worse.
He said workers could not access cash to pay fares to work.
He also criticised the pricing irregularities in the petroleum sector.
“Last week, we gave an ultimatum for the review of the cash crunch bedevilling the country, but we have discovered to our dismay that as at this moment not much effort has been made to ameliorate the situation. Government is still foot-dragging on these issues we raised,” Ajaero said.
“Based on this, we met again this morning to review our position and resolved that by Wednesday next week all CBN branches will be picketed. Workers are directed to stay at home too because people cannot eat, workers can no longer go to the office, we have been pushed to the wall.
“We have decided to take our destiny in our hands, we have mobilised our workers on this exercise.”
The NLC has no fewer than 43 affiliate unions which include, but not limited to, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, and the National Union of Road Transport Workers.
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