The Plateau State Government has banned Eid prayers, as COVID-19 cases reached 982 in the state.
The Chairman of the State COVID-19 Task Force, Governor Simon Lalong, announced the ban, while briefing journalists on the state’s response to the pandemic, on Tuesday in Jos, the state capital.
The governor also banned other activities associated with sallah festivities, including visits to recreational centres, such as Wildlife Parks.
“Residents should strictly use face masks, especially children conveying food and other items to neighbours,” he said.
Mr Lalong said this had become necessary, following the increasing number of cases in the state coupled with the preparations for the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, to prevent further spread of the disease.
The federal government has declared July 30 and July 31 as public holidays to allow Muslims celebrate the festival.
The governor, who was represented by Danladi Atu, Secretary to the task force who is also the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), urged the elderly to stay at home, as they were the most vulnerable.
Mr Lalong also reminded the residents that the 10 pm. to 4 am. a curfew declared by the federal government was still in place and that it would be strictly enforced.
He said the state had high cases of COVID-19 because it had three testing centres: National Veterinary Research Institute Vom; Plateau Specialist Hospital and Jos University Teaching Hospital.
“As of July 28, we have tested a total of 14,816 persons, with 10,922 results received so far, out of which 982 tested positive for the virus.
“We are waiting for 3,894 results from all the tests conducted,” he said, adding that 221 patients were on admission in the four treatment centres in the state.
The task force chairman further said that 446 persons had so far been discharged and 19 deaths recorded, while 454 cases were currently being observed.
Mr Lalong said 58 health workers were also infected by the disease, including 10 doctors, 15 nurses, three pharmacists and one lab technician, among others.
“About 4,422 staffers of the 54 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have been screened, out of whom 174 of tested positive. The test is ongoing.
“This makes Plateau the first state in the country to commence mass testing for civil servants,” he said.
While wishing the Muslims successful Eid-el Kabir celebrations, Mr Lalong urged them and other residents to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 precautionary measures in order to prevent further spread of the deadly disease.
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