The National Park Service says it is suspending some of its activities, including group visits and overnight stay at the seven parks across the nation.
Dr Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator General, National Park Service said this in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by Mr Yakubu Zull, his Special Assistant on Media.
Goni said that in view of the reality of COVID-19 in the country, and in order to take further preventive steps, all Conservators of Parks (CPs) are to follow all the Federal Government directives.
“The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has continued to issue advisories to stem the spread of the disease which has no known cure.
“They have also recommended the cessation of all gathering in excess of 50 people because of the risks it poses.
“Therefore, the CPs have been directed to suspend all group bookings and visits and ensure no overnight stay by visitors. All visitors must be screened. There will be no Easter celebrations or gathering inside the parks, and no parties of any sort, weddings etc.
“We are expected to continue operations, however, but as much as possible, efforts must be made to ensure that crowds coming to the parks do not exceed the recommended number’’.
According to him, `we are expected to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety of visitors in our jurisdiction in view of the risk such large gatherings may pose.
“ This is a matter of grave concern to the entire National Park Service Management so we have provided test kits, sanitisers, soap and water for maintenance of proper hygiene,’’ he added.
The CG called on all park visitors to comply with all the rules and cooperate with service staff to help curtail the spread of the virus.
He said all guidelines must be followed to ensure concerted and coordinated efforts in the prevention of the spread of this disease.
“As you are aware, the COVID-19 Virus and its spread in Nigeria has become a source of concern to all.
“We therefore insist that all our visitors must submit themselves to the precautionary measures put in place at the parks”.
He advised the parks visitors and intending visitors to observe the general recommendations from the World Health Organisation.
“They include frequent washing of hands with soap and water, avoid touching of eyes, mouth, and nose, cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
“Stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick and follow proper food hygiene practices’’.
He said that the global pandemic has affected every aspect of the nation including the service’s ability to carry out its programmes.
“As the situation unfolds, our top priority is everyone’s safety, and so we are in the process of making key alterations to how we work.
“I want to assure you that we are determined to do our best to help the federal government preserve life and restore normalcy within the shortest possible time”, he promised.