The Cross River State Government has cancelled the Carnival Calabar 2020 event and all other tourism related programmes in the state following the increase in the number of cases of the coronavirus disease in the country.
According to a statement by the state’ COVID19 Taskforce, signed by Cross River State Commissioner of Health DR. Betta Edu, the need to cancel all events in the state became necessary to prevent people from contracting the disease from large social gathering noting that Nigeria is already experiencing its second wave.
The statement said: “It is no news that the second wave of COVID-19 is already ranging in Nigeria with increased number of persons being infected with the virus especially during this festive period with people traveling from one point to the other. Cross River State COVID-19 Response Team is calling for immediate action by members of public to prevent further spread of the virus in our state.”
The following measures must be noted and complied with:
a)All Resident in Cross River state are required to use their face mask at all times in public places. Continuous disregard for this safety protocol shall be met with sanctions.
b)Use of Hand Sanitizers and regular washing of hands to avoid infection is strongly recommended for individuals while public and private establishments are required to provide for this in their premises.
c) Public and private organizations are encouraged to work remotely from home which is the green zone to reduce contact and prevent spread of Corona Virus. All Health workers and other emergency workers or first responders/essential service providers will continue to provide services but must protect themselves at all times to avoid infection with
d) Calabar carnival Festival will not hold this year 2020 to prevent spread of virus in the state.
e) All Night Clubs in Cross River state must immediately shut down, until further notice.
f) The 10pm to 6 am curfew imposed by the State Government remains in place.
g) The protocol of ‘No Mask No Movement’ must be enforced at all public places: Offices, Businesses, Markets, Shops, and so on.
h) All Places of Worship (Churches, Mosques, etc.) must ensure compulsory use of face mask, hand sanitizers, hand washing facilities and also that no gathering exceeds 50% of the maximum capacity of the Venue.
i) Avoid public gatherings and parties as much as possible this period. If you must attend stay alert and protect yourself and love ones at all times.
j) All Event Planners must ensure that any planned gatherings do not exceed 300 people. This is important to prevent reversal sanctions by Taskforce at your event.
k) Ample ventilation must also be maintained at all times in all Venues, and Deep cleaning of the premises must be carried out BEFORE and AFTER every event.
l) A minimum of 2 meters’ distance should be maintained between seated guests.
m) All guests and service providers at events MUST wear nose masks/coverings before entry. With Hand sanitizers or hand washing units positioned at the entry point and various spots within the hall. Provision must be made for all guests and service providers to wash their hands before entering the venue or use hand sanitizers, as well as undergo a temperature check, which is mandatory.
n) Persons traveling into the state should observe compulsory Isolation for seven days before mingling with members of the public and even family members especially older family members with other disease conditions that makes them more vulnerable to Dying from COVID-19.
o) Air and Road transporter must ensure to enforce the use of face mask, hand sanitizers and temperature check for all customers before boarding the flight or vehicle. This must be used throughout the duration of the journey to avoid spread. Failure to comply shall lead to sanctions for transporter by Taskforce
Staff must also be educated on recognising COVID-19 symptoms and must link the state response team ones there is a suspected case.
p) Security agents have been mandated to ensure full enforcement, without exception.
q) Avoid traveling this festive period if possible as this will further heighten the risk of spread. You could be putting your love ones at risk!
r) Any and all breaches of these regulations and public health protocols will lead to immediate closure as well as attract heavy fines, and any other sanctions and penalties deemed fit, in line with the Cross River State Public Health Law amended 2020.
s) Persons experiencing any symptoms or signs of COVID-19 should immediately reach the state epidemiologist on +234 803 869 9957 or the state response line.
Meanwhile, the 5th edition of Miss Africa 2020 Calabar will now be held as a virtual event.
According to Mr. Thomas Ikpeme, Senior Special Assistant, Events & Tourism to the Governor of Cross River State, His Excellency Sen. Prof Ben Ayade , there will no large gathering. Noting that this is to ensure adherence to public health measures and strict Covid-19 guidelines/International travel protocols.
However he also said that the millions of fans and viewers across the globe will still have a chance to enjoy the show as you can subscribe and watch exclusive behind the scenes, the road to Miss Africa 2020 and the live broadcast of the Grand finale on 27th December, 2020 on www.missafrica.tv at 1$ dollar or 460 Naira for all access viewership and also to vote for your favourite contestant.
Also, the Chairman Cross River State Carnival Calabar Commission, Gabe Onah in statement urged stakeholders in the tourism sector to abide by all the safety protocols of the state’s COVID-19 Taskforce, saying that: “The above Public service announcement is from the state COVID19 Taskforce as it concerns the carnival Calabar & Festival We appreciate your concern through these trying moments as I believe we shall come back stronger
Thanks for your staying power and believing in the connecting power of carnival calabar through the years.
I wish you all Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year.”