Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Health Protection Regulations which makes the use of face masks in any public place compulsory, and an offence not to wear one.
The move is aimed at curtailing the spread of the coronavirus disease. As at yesterday, official figures from government said 22 patients died of Covid-19 related complications across Nigeria in the last 24 hours as the national death jumps to 1,544.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, told journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that the President signed the document on Tuesday.
With the President’s signing of the regulation, it is now an offence for anyone not to wear a face mask that properly covers the nose and mouth with state agencies also empowered to enforce the regulation.
“No person shall be allowed within the premises of a market, mall, supermarket, shop, restaurants, hotels, event centres, gardens, leisure parks, recreation centres, motor parks, fitness centre or any other similar establishment (hereinafter collectively referred to as “establishments”) except he is wearing a face covering that covers the nose and mouth; he washes his hands or cleaned the hands using hand sanitiser approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and his body temperature has been checked. Any person found to have a body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius shall be denied entry and advised to immediately seek medical attention.”
Part 5 of the regulation deals with enforcement and application of the law.
It added, “Personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, and other relevant Local Government, State and Federal Government agencies are hereby directed to enforce the provisions of these Regulations.
“Any officer of the enforcement agencies who fails, neglects, or refuses to enforce the provisions of these Regulations shall be subject to disciplinary action by the disciplinary body of his respective agency.”
The regulation in part 1 deals with restrictions on gatherings noting that “at all gatherings, a physical distance of at least two metres shall be maintained at all times between persons.
“Notwithstanding the provision of Regulation 1, no gathering of more than 50 persons shall hold in an enclosed space, except for religious purposes, in which case the gathering shall not exceed 50% capacity of the space.”