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The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has released protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as Muslims across the country celebrate Eid-el-Kabir in a few days.
It also raised an alert over the confirmation of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the rising number of infections and hospitalisations in the country, Lagos, Oyo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This confirmation of the Delta strain of the virus risks the possibility of a third wave of the pandemic.
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’.
The committee created by the Federal Government asked Imams to decentralise the prayer ground, and further told emirs to suspend the annual Durbar activities in the northern region of the country.
The statement partly 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.”
“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.
The statement from the PSC comes as the country announced the recording of 123 new cases of COVID-19, totalling 169,329 as of July 17 according to information provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) website.