Impact of COVID-19 frightening, says Buhari

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By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday said the coronavirus pandemic has brought Nigeria and other countries to their “knees”.

He described the impact as “frightening” and urged Nigerians to continue to take precautions.

President Buhari spoke with reporters after Eid prayers with his family at the State House, Abuja, to commemorate the Eid-el-Fitr celebration.

He said the pandemic had adversely affected the economies of the developed and developing nations, leaving Nigeria with no money to import food.

The President, however, urged Nigerians to obey all the guidelines issued by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

He said: “Nigerians can see that the COVID-19 has reduced us, both the developing and developed countries, to the same level.

“In fact, we have fewer casualties than they have. So, it’s a very frightening development.

“I advise Nigerians to be very careful and take the advice of the Ministry of Health.

“The ministers of health have been doing very well, speaking and educating the citizens on the deadly virus. So, we should be very careful.”

President Buhari urged farmers to make the most of the rains to increase food production.

“I hope the rainy season would be bountiful so that we can get a lot of food.

“I wish the farmers will go to farms so that we can produce what we need in sufficient quantity so that we don’t have to import food.

“In any case, we don’t have any money to import food. So, we must produce what we are going to eat.”

First Lady Hajiya Aisha Buhari prayed that God would forgive the sins of those who died from coronavirus and grant them Aljanah Firdausi (Paradise).

“We must thank the almighty Allah for the successful completion of the Holy Month of Ramadan, despite the current difficult circumstances we found ourselves.

“I wish to thank the Federal Ministry of Health and the NCDC for their efforts in combating the pandemic,” she said.

The Eid-El-Fitr prayer was observed in line with the protocol against mass gathering issued by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

Social distancing protocol was observed during the two rakaat prayers.

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