June 29, 2020 / 4:04 PM / 5 days ago

Nigeria to ease COVID-19 curbs on inter-state travel and students

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria will let people travel between its states outside curfew hours from July 1, a senior official said on Monday as authorities moved to relax some coronavirus restrictions.

Students due to graduate this year will also be able to go back to school to prepare for exams, though other children are still barred from attending, said Boss Mustapha, chair of the presidential taskforce on the infection.

The taskforce is trying to strike a “delicate balance” between protecting people’s livelihoods and their health, he added.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country with around 200 million people, has reported 24,000 cases of the virus and 565 deaths as of Sunday.

Authorities have imposed a 10pm to 4am curfew and ordered people to wear masks in public places to curb the spread of the virus. Gatherings are limited to 20 people.

“We have observed with growing concern the non-compliances with these measures designed to prevent transmission,” Mustapha told reporters in the capital, Abuja. “We run the risk of erasing the gains made in the last three months,” he said.

Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by David Goodman and Andrew Heavens

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