'Be careful,' SGF concerned #EndSARS protesters are spreading COVID-19

He believes mass gatherings at protests has created an opportunity for the virus to spread.

#EndSARS protesters have been holding nationwide demonstrations for two weeks to condemn police brutality

Nigerians have been protesting for two weeks for the scrapping of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police unit with a long history of abuse of power.

Even though the government dissolved the unit last week, protesters have refused to back down, expressing discontent with the government's measures.

Alongside the rest of the world, Nigeria has been battling the novel coronavirus with over 61,000 infections and over 1,100 deaths recorded since February.

With no vaccines yet for COVID-19, authorities have announced non-pharmaceutical safety interventions such as face mask, social and physical distancing, and improved personal hygiene to limit the transmission of the disease.

While speaking during a media briefing on Monday, October 19, Mustapha said the mass gatherings at protests has created an opportunity for the virus to spread.

He expressed confidence that Nigeria will record a spike in the number of new cases in two weeks if protesters are thoroughly tested.

"Any mass gathering that doesn't adhere to the non-pharaceutical interventions put in place become super-spreader events," he said.

Mustapha, also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), appealed to protesters to be careful because mass gatherings create a potential opportunity for them to be infected and pass the virus on to their loved ones at home.

The SGF, who also condemned political rallies, said Nigerians must ensure that the country does not suffer a spike, noting that there's already a little spike recorded recently.

"My appeal to people who are congregating with total disregard for the non-pharmaceutical interventions, for the sake of our loved ones, is to desist from it," he said.

At least 15 protesters have been killed, and many assaulted by police officers since the protests started two weeks ago.

Hoodlums have also attacked the protesters in Lagos and Abuja, and Edo, killing some protesters and injuring others.

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