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COVID-19: Wearing Of Face Masks Now Optional ― FG

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THE Federal Government on Wednesday said that the wearing of face masks in public places is no longer compulsory as efforts are being to ease up COVID-19 restrictions across the country.

Head of the Technical Secretariat, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Dr Muktar Muhammed, who said this in Abuja, added that decision on the final relaxation of COVID-19 measures will be taken after Easter.

Reports have indicated that Nigeria has continued to witness a drop in the number of daily COVID-19 cases.

Chairman of PSC and Secretary to the Goverment of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, had penultimate week also announced the Committee has reviewed situations around the world and applies such to the situation in Nigeria.

He had also announced that PSC has revised the International Travel Protocols, which should come into effect on Monday, 4th April, 2022.

According to him, In-bound fully vaccinated passengers arriving in Nigeria would no longer be required to take a pre-departure PCR COVID-19 Test.

Data from the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency has revealed that a total of 12,139,797 persons have been fully vaccinated in Nigeria, while 18,942,020 persons have been partially vaccinated.

Countries across the world have started relaxing COVID-19 measures, including Ghana, a West African country, which recently announced that the use of face masks was no longer mandatory.

PSC Technical Head, Muhammed on Thursday said: “We are easing up restrictions, but it’s important we do so responsibly.

“Last week, we suspended the limit placed on public gatherings, curfews and other social measures.

“The use of face masks in open spaces is now discretionary.

“We shall not hesitate to remove all mandates once the disease is no longer of public health consequence. We are aware that cases are rising in the Western Pacific and Eastern Europe.

” The US just mandated a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for adults older than 50. We fear a reversal of the pandemic situation, where largely unvaccinated poor countries will be made to bear the burden because the West has developed very high immunity through large-scale vaccination.

“Our biggest fear now is the upcoming Easter holidays. If we are able to cross and the cases continue to go down with no significant increase in hospitalisation and death, then certainly, we will lower down our level of alertness and relax most of the measures.

“We are working with data and algorithms to determine our line of action. Everything depends on what happens next. We learn from other countries, but we don’t have to necessarily copy what they are doing. Every country should evaluate its risk and take responsibility.”

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