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PTF warns against mass gatherings during Sallah celebrations

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A ram is seen at Yan’ awaki livestock market ahead of Eid al-Adha festival in Kano, northwest Nigeria, August 28, 2017. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye

The Presidential Taskforce on Covid-19 and (PTF) has said that all entertainment centres must remain closed during the celebration of the forthcoming Eid-el-Kabir and urged Muslims to avoid mass gatherings and observe all the non-pharmaceutical guidelines.

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The PTF coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, who stated this at the briefing on Monday in Abuja, said that the PTF understands that Eid-el-Kabir is a major celebration for Muslims all over the world but that Covid-19 is still a significant threat.

He observed that during the Sallah celebration, infection control measures must be observed in public places at all times and there must be mandatory use of face masks and people without face mask should not be allowed into the worship places.

Aliyu noted that vulnerable group and those above 60 years should stay at home and those sick with symptoms should not attend the Eid prayers.

He recommended that the eid prayers be held outdoors if the weather permits, but in a situation where it will hold indoors, the number should be limited with adequate ventilation and airflow with prayer time not exceeding 1 hour.

“Temperature monitoring should be carried out, physical distancing should be observed while slaughtering animals, preferably in a facility with hand hygiene and other safety measures and arrangements to deal with sick persons,” Aliyu said.

Also speaking, Chairman of PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha said that the PTF noted with delight, the increasing number of states that have shelved activities during the Eid-el-kabir and urged others yet to do so to follow suit.

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Mustapha observed that the World Health Organization (WHO) has also issued Safe Eid practices in the context of COVID-19 and commended the Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) for championing the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and for advising Muslims to avoid massive gatherings at Eid grounds and pray at area mosques under prescribed protocols.

He noted that the PTF is making progress in bringing more states within the national network and reporting system adding that this will enhance the outcome of the COVID-19 national response and will be more beneficial to the citizens of those States and the country.

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