NCDC reminds Nigerians to stay away from mass gatherings as Abba Kyari is laid to rest

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Abba Kyari was buried in Abuja on April 18, 2020

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control on Saturday reiterated the need to “refrain from attending mass gatherings to prevent the further spread of COVID-19” even as a crowd gathered at the burial of former Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

The crowd had drawn criticism from some Nigerians on social media who wondered why the social distancing rule wasn’t being strictly applied at the burial.

Adunni Achebe
@_Adadioramma
I’m not surprised at the crowd at Abba Kyari’s funeral.

Implementation of the law in Nigeria has always been laced with hypocrisy.

A few days back a man was sentenced 6 months in jail with option of a fine cos he wanted to feed his starving family.

The scores of people who huddled together at Abba Kyari’s burial, how are they different from that Abuja driver sentenced to six months imprisonment for violating the lockdown order to look for money to feed his family, or from Funke Akindele & the guests at her husband’s party?

Meanwhile, in a message posted on its Twitter handle, NCDC said its policy has not changed.

“Even at this time, as we mourn loved ones lost to COVID-19, including the recently deceased, President’s Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, we need to refrain from attending mass gatherings to prevent the further spread of #COVID19 Let us #StaySafe & protect each other,” the NCDC message read.

The health agency also referenced its published guidance “on ensuring safe and dignified burial” while preventing the spread of the deadly virus.

According to the NCDC guidelines, people may observe the dead body of an infected person “without touching the body at a minimum distance of 2 metres” and “in the event a ceremony is held, the number of attendees should be limited.”

During the burial of Chief of Staff to the Nigeria President, Abba Kyari’s burial

“The ceremony should be held in a well-ventilated structure, attendees should
be advised on social distancing throughout the event, ensuring practice of
hand and respiratory hygiene,” the NCDC guidelines added.