The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has asked mosques to decentralise Eid-el-Kabir prayers in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.
The Federal Government’s committee also asked emirs to suspend the annual Durbar activities in the northern region of the country.
This was contained in a statement by PSC Chairman and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, on Sunday, titled, ‘COVID-19 third wave: PSC puts six states and FCT on red alert, recommends preventive measures for safe eid celebration’.
Part of the statement read, “The PSC felicitates with the Muslim Ummah on the occasion of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration. It, however, urges all State Governments and Religious Leaders to be mindful of the potential for a wider spread of the virus during large gatherings.
“The PSC therefore recommends the following preventive measures for a safe Eid-el-Kabir celebration: Decentralisation of Eid Prayer to neighbourhood Friday Prayer Mosques (outdoor); and observation of limitations on all Indoor gatherings.”
The Federal Government’s committee also noted that it would increase airport surveillance to prevent further importation of Delta variant of COVID-19.
“These steps are critical as we begin to see worrisome early signs of increasing cases in Nigeria.
“The PSC shall continue to minimise the risk of importation of variants of concern into the country by strengthening Surveillance at all Points of Entry (POE), enforcing extant quarantine protocols and sustaining the current restrictive measures against travellers arriving from India, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa,” it added.
This is as Nigeria recorded additional 123 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 169,329 as of July 17.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control made this known on its official website on Sunday morning, noting that six patients who had recovered from the disease were discharged from isolation centres.
According to the NCDC, till date 169,329 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed nationwide, 164,672 patients discharged and 2,126 deaths recorded.
The agency said the 123 new cases were recorded in seven states and the Federal Capital Territory, with Lagos having 70; Akwa Ibom18; Ogun 10; Oyo eight; Rivers eight; Ekiti four; FCT four and Bayelsa one.