By Asmau Ahmad
The Nigeria’s Federal Government has called on political parties, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIEC) to ensure strict compliance with all COVID-19 protocols while conducting political events.
Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, made the call in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja.
Health Reporters learnt that the development followed the confirmation of more cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in several states and the rising number of infections across the country.
Mr Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), stressed that mass gatherings served as super-spreader events for the propagation of COVID-19 infection in communities.
The SGF said such events must be carefully controlled to ensure maximum public safety in terms of the risk of transmitting the virus among the vulnerable population.
“The PSC wishes to reiterate the significance of the publicised 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,” he said.
The PSC chairman 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,” said Mustapha.
According to reports, Nigeriahas continued to record high daily cases of the coronavirus infection.
These cases include the deadly Delta variant, which was first reported in the country on July 8.
The SARS-CoV-2, 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.’
According to WHO, the variant is responsible for the spike in about 132 countries across the world where it has been reported.