The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), has raised the alarm over an escalation of infections in the country.
This is as a result of 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.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, PSC, Boss Mustapha, gave the warning on Friday night in Abuja.
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He warned that all political parties, state governments, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIEC) must ensure strict compliance to the COVID-19 protocols in the conduct of all political events in the country.
According to him, political mass gatherings serve as super-spreader events for the propagation of COVID-19 infection in the communities.
“Such events must be carefully controlled to ensure maximum public safety in terms of risk of transmitting the infection 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.
“The PSC therefore cautions all political parties to institute public health and social measures in all locations where political events will occur,” Mustapha said.
He listed the measures to include mandatory use of face mask for everyone attending these political events and that persons without face masks should not be allowed access to the venues.
Hw also said hand hygiene facilities including soap and water/hand sanitisers should be made available for people before gaining access to the venues, adding that 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.
“The PSC calls upon all Political Parties, INEC and SIECs to ensure and enforce compliance to the extent possible of these provisions and other safety measures to protect the Nigerian population,” Mustapha said.