Ekiti has re-imposed fresh restrictions to movement and banned large public gatherings amid fears of the escalating second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Akin Omole, announced on Sunday evening, in Ado Ekiti, that the state government had imposed a an 8.00 pm to 6.00 am daily curfew across the state.
Omole said in a statement that government had equally banned all public gatherings of more than 20 people, anywhere in the state until further notice.
”These restrictions take effect from Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 at 6:00am. These drastic steps, as approved by Gov Kayode Fayemi, are as a result of the alarming rate at which the second wave of COVID-19 is spreading in Nigeria and elsewhere”, he said.
According to him, there was the need for government to be proactive and take decisive steps, to secure the citizens from falling victims of the pandemic that had claimed thousands of lives across the globe.
He urged the people to continue to strictly observe the COVID-19 protocols, and also abide by the curfew and new restrictions placed on public gatherings by the government.
Omole also called on the people to ensure that they wore their nose masks properly, washed their hands with soap and use hand sanitizer regularly, as well as kept social distance, to avoid contracting the virus.
He added that the 8.00 pm to 6.00 am curfew imposed throughout the state would be strictly enforced, except for those that are on essential services, while the ban on all public gatherings, of more than 20 people, should be strictly observed, to avoid penalties.
The commissioner announced that the government would, however, allow faithfuls to observe two services of their religious worships on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, accordingly, but that all the services must not extend beyond 2.00pm on the days.
To facilitate the services, all worship centers would be expected to provide necessary facilities for hand washing, soap and hand sanitizer at the entrance, while infrared thermometers should be used to take worshippers’ temperature before being allowed in for the service, Omole said.
He added that the State COVID-19 Response Committee, and other relevant enforcement agencies, would be monitoring compliance with all the renewed directives, warning that any person or group of persons caught violating the measures would be dealt with according to the law.
The commissioner called on all top government functionaries, at the state and local government levels, including Council Chairmen, traditional rulers and law enforcement agencies, to obey the protocols themselves, as well as monitor compliance, and report promptly any violators to the COVID-19 Response Taskforce.
The statement assured that government would continue to do all within its power, to ensure that the second wave of the pandemic did not have a foothold in the state.
NAN recalled that during the first wave of the pandemic in 2020, the government applied similar measures, over several months, affecting virtually all areas of life, including commercial activities, offices, schools, social activities, markets, as well as worship centres, among others.