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Anap Think Tank asks FG to relax curfew but maintain ban on religious gatherings

Published on 10 May, 2020, in TheCable Online Newspaper



The Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank has called on the federal government to relax the curfew imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. After a five-week lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and the federal capital territory (FCT), President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered an 8pm to 6am curfew across the country.

In a statement, Atedo Peterside and Abubakar Mohammed, chairman and vice-chairman of Anap Foundation COVID-19 Think Tank, asked the government to lift the curfew or adjust the timing to avoid overcrowding. 

“After reviewing situation reports from various towns and villages across the nation, our conclusion is that governments must continue to monitor and define the extent to which they will modify partial lockdowns to allow for some economic activities thereby ensuring that the right balance between public health and economic sustainability is maintained,” the statement read. 

 “We note the recent clamour by some religious leaders to allow physical congregation since limited economic activities have commenced. Worship can take place personally, at home or virtually and we firmly believe that it is not yet time to allow congregational religious activities. Religious and social gatherings, ceremonies and economic activities which have a strong propensity for physical contact should not be the priority at this time.”

The Think Tank also gave the following recommendations:

·        Intensification of Behaviour Change Communication campaigns on physical distancing, hand washing and wearing cloth face coverings in public in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

·        Lift the curfew or limit it to 11pm – 5am (no more than 6 hours) to help ease overcrowding.

·        Lengthen business hours and reserve 1 or 2 hours for the exclusive service of the elderly especially in banks and supermarkets in consideration of their extra vulnerability to COVID-19. 

·        Businesses must enforce physical distancing of 2 metres between customers.

·        Compulsory wearing of cloth face coverings in public places and public transportation.

·        Continued ban of physical congregational religious activities and other social events and/or ceremonies.

 The group said it strongly believes that implementing some or all of the above measures will help in achieving the government’s objective of easing hardship on the citizens whilst curbing the spread of COVID-19.


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