MAIDUGURI, Nigeria

Scores of Muslims in Nigeria performed Eid al-Fitr prayers on Sunday amid the threat of coronavirus, and warning against mass gatherings.

Boss Mustapha, head of the presidential team on COVID-19, warned against gathering of worshippers for Eid, which marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“Gathering for Eid prayers at this time may affect the gains we have recorded in the containment of coronavirus pandemic,” he said on Friday while giving virus updates in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

About 25 of the 37 states in the federation defied the warning as they announced designated and approved grounds for the special congregational prayers but with strict compliance to COVID-19 measures including hand washing and use of face masks.

Nigeria’s President Mohammadu Buhari performed Eid prayers at a mosque inside the Aso Rock Presidential Villa with his family, local media reported.

He usually travels to his home town Daura in the notthwestern Katsina State for the festival.

Nigeria currently has 7,526 confirmed virus cases with over 221 deaths, according to the latest figures by National Centre for Disease Control.

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