Kaduna bans large gatherings, religious services over coronavirus

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai

Kaduna State Government has ordered the restriction of religious services and all large gatherings until further notice to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

Social gatherings in bars, restaurants, night clubs, public parks are now prohibited in the state.

A statement by Muyiwa Adekeye, Special Adviser to Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Media and Communication, enjoined Imams not to hold Juma’at services on Friday.

The statement said the government is taking a cue from the decision of the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the cradle of Islam, not to hold such prayers in the two Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madina.

“In many Muslim-majority countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, members of the public are encouraged to pray at home, and not congregate as is the practice in normal times. The Kaduna State government hereby directs that all daily congregational prayers should be suspended until the coronavirus situation is clearly contained,” the statement read.

“Pastors, as well as congregants, are expected to abide by public health advice and avoid gatherings in churches. Other means of worship and fellowship should be adopted in much smaller numbers of not more than 10 persons, for now.

“Public health expert advice is that large gatherings of more than 10 persons are not advisable at this point, and any assembly of more than 50 persons are therefore prohibited in Kaduna State until further notice.”

No case of coronavirus has been reported in Kaduna.

The state government has already announced the closure of all schools – primary and secondary – effective from March 23.

It also directed the immediate closure of the campuses of Kaduna State University (KASU), Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, College of Education and of Nursing and Midwifery for 30 days.