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COVID-19: FG has not introduced new restrictions – minister

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed on Tuesday denied that the Federal Government has introduced new restriction to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, describing media report to this effect as misleading.

Mohammed made the rebuttal at a meeting with Online Publishers in Lagos.

According to him, there are no new restrictions, adding that the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 only reiterated existing regulations to control spread of the disease.

The minister, a member of the steering committee, said the committee’s national incident manager, Mukhtar Mohammed was quoted out of context during the briefing of the committee on Monday in Abuja.

He said the only new introduction was that anyone, including Nigerians traveling from Brazil, Turkey or India, must go through compulsory quarantine.

“What we did was the need to remind people of the existing extant regulations on COVID-19.

“Government has not introduced anything new. You can still travel by air or road or any other means but ensure you wear your face mask. We have not opened night clubs, the regulations on social distancing, social and religious gatherings, use of face masks are still in place.

“The curfew between 12 a.m. and 4 a.m. is still on and we are saying people must obey the existing protocols,’’ he said.

The minister said the emphasis became imperative because Nigerians were taking things for granted and behaving as if COVID-19 had gone. He said India made the same mistake and they are paying for it at the moment

“This is the mistake that India made when they actually boasted they had conquered COVID -19.

“They were holding political campaigns and religious festivals when a new variant of COVID -19 surfaced. “Today, they are recording more than 400,000 cases per day and about 4,000 lives lost daily. This is why every citizen must know where we are going,’’ he said.

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