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COVID-19 Third wave : Nigeria six states, Abuja others on red alert

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[FILES] A Nigerian police officer working with Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Administration COVID-19 taskforce stand outside the closed UTC Market following the closure of markets in Abuja, Nigeria over disregard to COVID-19 Health Protection Regulations Act, on February 2, 2021. (Photo by Kola Sulaimon / AFP)

Following the impending third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the confirmation of the Delta variant of the disease, the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 has placed six states and Abuja on red alert.

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The Chairman of PSC and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, said in a statement that considering 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) have been put on red alert as part of the preventive measures against a third wave of the pandemic.

Mustapha urged other states of the federation to increase their level of preparedness and continue to enforce all protocols to guard against the spread of the coronavirus and warned Nigerians to be mindful of the likelihood of the wider spread of the coronavirus as they celebrate Eid-el-Kabir on Tuesday and Wednesday.

He noted that all open Eid grounds should have multiple entry and exit points with hand washing and temperature checking facilities.”

The SGF noted that the holding capacity of Eid grounds should be reduced to 50 per cent to ensure physical and social distancing.

Boss Mustapha stated that Eid prayers should not exceed one hour and called for the suspension of all Durbar activities.

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He said observation of the limitations on all indoor gatherings and decentralisation of Eid prayer to neighbourhood Friday Mosques (outdoor).

The SGF also said the government would sustain the current restrictive measures against travellers from countries including India, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa.

“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, enforcing extant quarantine protocols and sustaining the current restrictive measures against travellers arriving from India, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa,” Mustapha said.

“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 wider spread of the virus during large gatherings.”

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