The federal government has cautioned Muslims in the country to avoid crowded social and religious gatherings as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, saying they have to be alive to witness this year’s Ramadan and beyond. The national coordinator of the Presidential Taskforce Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, stated this in Abuja on Monday at the 10th joint national briefing of the committee. Aliyu urged Muslims across the country to continue to abide by the restriction order and other measures put in place by the government during the coming Ramadan. According to him, physical distancing is a more apt, appropriate and much needed to be maintaining as much as possible at this time.
On the coming Ramadan fasting and fears by Muslims in view of the lockdown, now extended by additional 14 days in FCT, Lagos and Ogun States, Aliyu said people have to be protected and be alive to witness this year’s Ramadan and subsequent ones. “This is a challenging period for all of us. We are not in normal situation and we can see the Saudi Arabia suspending the lesser hajj (Umrah). We just have to make adjustments and adapt. This is an appeal to the Ulamas and religious leaders to spread this message. “We are in a challenging time and we have to be around for the next Ramadan and that is why we have to protect ourselves now. The Federal Government will continue to provide the palliatives that were discussed earlier on to ease the effect of the difficult time we are in. Those restriction measures are clearly to protect us and it would definitely not be with us forever so we should abide by them for the main time,” Aliyu said.