Written by Sarah NEGEDU

FCTA rolls out new guidelines on social distancing

In a bid to enforce social distancing in containing the spread of coronavirus in the nation’s capital, the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, has directed all eateries to withdraw all eat-in arrangements in their premises.

The FCT minister, Mal. Muhammad Bello, gave the directive at a news conference at the end of FCTA stakeholders’ meeting in the battle against Covid-19.

He asked eateries to rather make use of takeaways packs, explaining that withdraw of eat-in arrangements at all restaurants would discourage the convergence of customers at one particular spot.

He also called on those who patronise eateries to embrace home delivery as a service alternative.

The minister also directed that business activities in the FCT must be between the hours of 6a.m and 9 p.m. daily.

He said that in order to enforce public compliance to all directives issued on the containment of COVID-19 in the FCT, five monitoring teams have been commissioned.

The minister noted that the teams are mandated to enforce compliance in parks, clubs, markets, motor parks, buses, taxis, places of worship, schools and at the six area councils.

Bello said that to ensure effective coordination of all activities on the containment of the virus, the FCTA had also established the Covid-19 Situation Room to be domiciled at the FCT Call Centre

Telephone numbers of the call centre to include: 08099936312, 08099936313, 08099936314 and 07080631500.

Bello explained that the numbers would furnish the monitoring teams with the necessary information to address real time issues as they arise.

“In addition, members of the public are advised to also use the National Emergency Toll free number 112,” he said.

The minister, however, enjoined all FCT residents to remain calm and abide by all laid down directives, saying “together, we can defeat Covid-19.”

Similarly, FCT Directorate of Roads Traffic Services has appealed to motor parks and public transportation operators to equip their vehicles and garages with alcohol based sanitizers, washing soaps and running water as measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among commuters in the territory.

The director of the services, Mr Wadata Bodinga, made the appeal while highlighting new guidelines for public transport operators in Abuja.

He directed commercial buses and taxi drivers to stop the use of air conditioners.

He advised FCT citizenry to maintain minimal movement and avoid shared taxis and buses where possible during this period.

“The use of air conditioner in shared taxis and buses is hereby discouraged. All taxis shall henceforth convey three passengers only: one person in the front seat and two persons at the back seats. All buses shall convey 1 passenger in the front seat and 2 passengers on other seats with minimum contact maintained.

“All high-capacity buses shall operate at 50% of its capacity and standing shall no longer be allowed. All tricycles (where operation is allowed) shall convey 2 passengers only at the back seat and only the rider in the front seat.”

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