PSC warns politicians against mass gathering

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The Presidential Steering Committee, PSC, on COVID-19 has called on all political parties, Independent National Electoral Commission and State Independent Electoral Commissions to ensure strict compliance to all COVID-19 protocols while conducting political events in the country.

The chairman of PSC, on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, in a statement issued on Friday expressed concern on the recent confirmation of more cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in several states and the continued rising number of infections and hospitalization across the country.

Mustapha stressed that political mass gatherings serve as super-spreaders events for the propagation of COVID-19 infection in communities.

The SGF said that such events must be carefully controlled to ensure maximum public safety in terms of risk of transmitting the virus among the vulnerable population.

“The PSC wishes to reiterate the significance of the publicized INEC policy on the conduct of political events and the Code of Conduct for Voters and Political Parties within the context of COVID-19.

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“The PSC therefore cautions all political parties to institute public health and social measures in all locations where political events will occur,” he said even as he reiterated that the mandatory use of face masks was one of the measures put in place to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Persons without face masks should not be allowed access to the venues

“Hand hygiene facilities including soap and water/ hand sanitisers should be made available for people before gaining access to the venues

“Enclosed venues should be adequately ventilated and must not exceed 50 per cent of venue capacity (minimum of 2 metres should be observed among people at the gathering).

“If essential, multiple locations or time-slotting should be used with appropriate numbers of people to enable adequate physical distancing in each gathering per time,” said Mustapha.

Incidence of coronavirus has continued to rise of recent including the deadly ‘Delta variant’ which was first reported in Nigeria on July 8, 2021, in a traveller.

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The SARS-CoV-2, and also known as lineage B.1.617.2., the delta variant has been described by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as the ‘most transmissible variant.’

The WHO said the variant is responsible for the spike in about 132 countries across the world where it has been reported.

As of Thursday, the country has recorded 178,821 COVID-19 cases and the fatality in the country stands at 2,141.