Following the lifting of restrictions on places of worship, the federal government has issued a safety advisory, which among others, restricted children from churches and Islamiyya schools in mosques, as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 during regular religious services.
The federal government has also asked governors to take charge of the enforcement of the protocols to contain the spread of the virus.
In Lagos and Kaduna states, therefore, the governments have said places of worship would remain closed.
The virus’ tally rose to 10,819 in the country yesterday having infected 241 more persons.
The number of deaths rose from 299 to 314 in the last 24 hours even as 3,239 persons have been discharged.
Announcing this last night, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said Lagos State recorded 142 new cases, Oyo 15, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) 13, Kano 12, Edo 11, Delta 10, Kaduna and Rivers nine each, Borno eight, Jigawa four, Gombe and Plateau three each, while Osun and Bauchi recorded one each.
In Kaduna, the Special Adviser to the Governor, Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye, said religious activities would remain on lockdown, adding that the state government had started engagements with business, community and religious leaders to discuss and agree on the protocols for the safe re-opening of businesses, markets and resumption of congregational worship.
The decision in the case of Lagos State would be taken by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who would take into consideration, the rising cases of the pandemic in the state.
The advisory to churches and mosques, which was developed in liaison with the leadership of the religious community and state governments, was reeled out yesterday by the National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 Control, Dr. Sani Aliyu, during the task force’s media briefing in Abuja.
He, however, insisted that it’s safer for the public to worship at home because religious places are particularly recognised to have the major potential of spreading the virus among worshippers.
He said places of worship that are unable to comply with the measures should not be allowed to operate by governors.
Aliyu said the advisory was issued in the event that members of the public wanted to perform their spiritual needs and it’s impossible to carry it out at home.
Some of the recommended guidelines, which PTF noted are minimum standards that mosques and churches must comply with include, the supply of running water, soaps and alcohol sanitisers at entry and exit points and in all high contact locations, including bathroom. He added that worshippers must sanitise their hands and undergo temperature checks before entry.