COVID-19: Risk of reopening night clubs, bars, still too high – PTF

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The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 said “the risks of reopening nightclubs and bars are still high hence, their continued ban.”

The PTF National Coordinator, Sani Aliyu, said this during the PTF press briefing on Thursday in Abuja, while reacting to questions on the continued closure of nightclubs and bars, while other activities have been reopened.

Mr Aliyu said, “I have nothing against nightclubs. I don’t see anything wrong with people going to bars and nightclubs, but the nature of the environment is an enclosed space, there are no windows, people are standing very close to each other. We are yet to have a mask that people can drink through without taking it off. So you are at a great risk of transmission.

“Globally, when the number starts surging look at the news, the first thing they say is that bars are closed. So that is why we are being careful, the national response that we have had in this country has been calibrated.

“We have looked at every single risk. Every decision taken has not been easy, there are negotiations, arguments and so on.

“But bars and nightclubs remain closed for very good reasons. At a point in time that we are very confident that we are at the right time to relax further, we will open up.

“So, for those who love nightclubs, please be a bit patient with us and be hopeful that things will get back to normal.”

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, responding to the same question, said: “We have nothing against nightclubs, bars, lounges but you know the nature of those places.

“For obvious reasons, they are constructed in such a manner for effectiveness of either the lighting or the music. So it is always very compact. And the beauty about it is that you must be dancing and jumping shoulder to shoulder.

“That is the most dangerous place to be without a face mask. Like Dr Sani said, we have not gotten to a point where you have created mask with false enclosure so that you can drink without taking off your mask or you can share in entertainment without making noise.

“We are not opposed to the leisure and entertainment industry, we want to get to this new normal as quickly as possible so that we can return to our ordinary ways of life.”

There are indications that the likelihood of vaccine coming in the next six months has become questionable hence, the need to take steps to ensure the processes of community transmission are limited.

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