Nigeria reverts to COVID-19 restrictions as WHO classifies Indian variant major threat

… suspends public gatherings beyond 50

Nigeria on Monday has reverted to non-pharmaceutical measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, as the World Health Organisation (WHO) classified the double mutant strain in India as a variant of concern.

A new directive by the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 taking course by Tuesday midnight has restricted public gathering to 50 people across the country.

Bars and nightclubs are particularly directed to shut down operations as the nationwide curfew will be in force until further notice.

According to Mukhtar Mohammed, head of Technical Secretariat, PSC, access to government institutions would also be denied to anyone not wearing a face mask while government meetings and travels have been limited to the virtual platform.

He added that only essential international travels would be encouraged, and all existing protocols must be strictly adhered to. Intra-state travel will however remain free.

The WHO classified the COVID-19 variant causing an explosive outbreak in India as being of concern on Monday.

It said the B.1.617 variant first found in India last October seemed to be transmitting more easily than the original version of the virus and might possibly have some increased resistance to vaccine protections.

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