By Oyinlola Awonuga (The New Diplomat’s Entertainment, Fashion and Sports Desk)
Organisers of the 2020 season of the Big Brother Naija (BBNaija) reality TV show have unveiled measures taken to combat spread of COVID-19 ahead of July 19.
In a statement on Thursday, MultiChoice Nigeria, its major organiser, said potential housemates for the show are already being quarantined, adding that anyone that shows signs of ill health would not be allowed to participate.
The statement also added that the Big Brother House has been disinfected and would not be accessible to anyone till July 19 when the show would officially commence.
According to the organisers, the measures were put in place to ensure strict compliance with the guidelines set by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
“Besides doing things like ensuring the production crew works in (socially distanced) shifts, MultiChoice is putting the potential housemates through a rigorous health screening process. These potential housemates will, in addition to other medical tests, undergo a COVID-19 test before entering Biggie’s house,” the statement read.
The organisers said they are “committed to keeping all BBNaija season five participants safe and healthy, which is why there will be no live audience at the Sunday Night Eviction Shows. There will also be no unexpected celebrity visits to the House.”
Wangi Mba-Uzoukwu, channel director, Africa Magic, said the show’s previous standard for conducting health checks for housemates have been elevated due to the present circumstances.
Multichoice Nigeria had in May commenced online auditions for the fifth edition of the show for potential housemates, listing five requirements they will need to qualify for the exercise.
The 2019 edition of the show dubbed ‘Pepper Dem’ was won by Mercy Eke who went home with the grand prize of N60 million.