FG Relaxes Wearing Of Face Mask, Three Other Crucial COVID-19 Protocols
The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has said the use of face masks in public places is optional.
The Secretary of the PSC on COVID-19, Dr Muktar Muhammed told PUNCH on Thursday.
Dr Muhammad who is also the head of the Technical Secretariat said the following protocols had been relaxed:
- Mandatory use of face masks in public places.
- Suspend the limit placed on public gatherings, curfews and other social measures.
- Stop demanding proof of PCR tests from fully vaccinated travellers.
“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 the fourth dose of 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 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.”
Following other countries
In recent times, some countries have relaxed COVID-19 restrictions. Some have lifted the ban on the compulsory use of face masks and even quarantined new travellers.
West African neighbour, Ghana lifted its COVID-19 restrictions in March. The country also announced the re-opening of land and sea borders.
According to the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, the decision was reached after:
- Reviewing the raft of measures put in place to help win the fight against COVID-19.
- There was a report of rapidly declining infections.
- Also, there was a huge success of the vaccination campaign by the Ghana Health Service.
He explained in a nationwide address on COVID-19 protocols that:
“From Monday, the wearing of face masks is no longer mandatory. I encourage all of you to continue to maintain enhanced hand hygiene practices and avoid overcrowded gatherings.
“All in-person activities, including religious gatherings, conferences, workshops, and funerals, may resume at full capacity, as long as the audience and participants are fully vaccinated. But handwashing and hand sanitizing points should be made available.
“Fully vaccinated travellers will be allowed entry through the land and sea borders without a negative polymerase chain reaction test result from the country of origin.
“It has been a difficult two years, and we can see light at the end of a very long tunnel. I appeal to all of us to live responsibly, protect ourselves, and do everything we can to stay safe as we lift these restrictions.”
Source: PUNCH Health Wise