The Federal Government through the Presidential Steering Committee, PSC, on Covid-19 has placed 6 states and Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on red alert to ensure a safe and healthy nationwide Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

This is also part of the preventive measures taken against the fast-spreading third wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The action from the government follows the confirmation of the Delta Variant of Covid-19, the rising number of infections and hospitalisation in the country.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Chairman of PSC, Boss Mustapha.

Mr Mustapha, who also doubles as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, listed the affected states apart from FCT to include Lagos, Oyo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kano and Plateau.

Mr Mustapha warned that all states of the federation should increase their state of preparedness and continue to enforce all protocols put in place, given the renewed greater ease of spread of the Delta variant.

He said, “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.

“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.’’

Going further, the SGF said that the PSC recommends the following preventive measures for a safe Eid-el-Kabir celebration:

“Decentralisation of Eid Prayer to neighbourhood Friday Prayer Mosques (outdoor);     

“Suspension of Durbar activities; and

“Observation of limitations on all Indoor gatherings.”

He advised Nigerians and all residents to stay safe always.

It will be recalled that earlier this month, the World Health Organization, WHO, said that Africa is facing the possibility of the biggest surge in the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is as the surge is said to be spreading faster and is projected to soon overtake the peak of the second wave that the continent witnessed earlier in 2021.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government had said that reported cases of the covid-19 disease have surged in recent times, climbing to 1,249 cases between 1st July and 13th July 2021, with Lagos State being the epicenter of the spread.

This is as the government in July uncovered the first case of the Delta Covid-19 variant on an international passenger that arrived Nigeria