Nigeria has re-opened 14 airports months after recording more than 40,000 Covid-19 cases and 858 deaths.
Since the index case on February 27, the country has witnessed a steady rise in infections despite efforts to curtail the spread of the virus, including closure of all airports and a general lockdown.
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) confirmed an additional 555 cases and two deaths on June 26, lifting total infections to 40,532 and fatalities to 858 from Friday’s figures of 39,977 and 856.
People in the country now averaging more than 500 cases a day have been crossing into and out of states without adhering to protocols.
Aviation minister Hadi Sirika said the airports are open for full domestic operations, hence ministerial approval into and out of them is not required.
“This includes private and charter operations. We will keep you informed on the remaining airports in due course,” he said.
Mr Sirika added that the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja were approved for domestic operations on July 8.
The other airports are located in Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Maiduguri, Uyo, Kaduna, Yola, Calabar, Sokoto, Birnin Kebbi, Jos and Benin.
Meanwhile the spiritual head of Nigerian Muslims and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, directed all worshippers to observe prayers in Juma’at mosques instead of prayer grounds on July 31, 2020 to mark the festival of Eid-al-Kabir.
In a statement, Mr Abubakar called on Muslims to pray for peace, progress and development in the country.
The Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) had declared Friday the 10th day of Zulhijja 1441 AH and the day of Eid –el–Kabir for the year.
By Mohammed Momoh
The East African