By Ezra Odogu
The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC) has asked political parties to ensure strict compliance with the COVID-19 protocol at all events in the country.
Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of PSC, in a statement on Friday, said political mass gatherings serve as “super-spreader events” in the transmission of coronavirus.
“Following the recent confirmation of more cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in several states and the continued rising number of infections and hospitalisation across the country, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 (PSC), has called on all political parties, state governments, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIEC) to ensure strict compliance to the COVID-19 protocols in the conduct of all political events in the country,” the statement reads.
“Political mass gatherings serve as super-spreader events for the propagation of COVID-19 infection in our 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. These measures include:
“Mandatory use of face mask for everyone attending these political events. 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% 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 said compliance with the above measures will protect participants at the events from contracting or spreading the virus.
As of July 29, 2021, Nigeria has confirmed 178,821 cases of COVID-19 while 164,930 patients have recovered from the virus. The country’s death toll stands at 2,141.