The burial of the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Pastor Temitope Joshua would be done under strict COVID prevention protocol.
This, according to the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Akin Abayomi is to limit any possibilities of introduction of foreign variants of the virus among the congregation and by extension to the community.
Abayomi spoke at the weekend when he led a delegation from the state government, including the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola to SCOAN headquarters to access preparation for the burial rites, scheduled to hold from 5th July to 11th July.
The commissioner said the third wave of the virus is likely to come from visitors into the country and as, noting that the late Prophet was a prominent person with large congregation and followers from around the world, with the funeral rites expected attract people from within and outside Nigeria who will deem it fit to come pay their last respect to him.
“So we have had series of engagements with the officials and executive of SCOAN, we are also in touch with the Federal Government; the Presidential Steering Committee and the Federal Ministry of Health,
“Any visitor coming into the country has to go through the mandatory seven days of isolation plus testing before they can participate in any of the activities.
“We’ve inspected all the accommodation, we’ve looked at the auditorium and we’ve calculated how to completely eliminate the chance and the risk of infectious transmission.
“So, we’ve engaged with several stakeholders, we are looking at the airport, we are looking at the land borders, we are looking at event preceding the five or seven days of the funeral, we are looking at the funeral activities itself. We have a detailed account of the programme, we are putting some guidelines in place.”
The commissioner said that there are some areas of infection prevention protocols that needed strengthening in the church; even as he assured that those areas would be strengthened before and during the funeral activities. He added that biosecurity and safety experts will also be on ground to work with the local organizing committee to monitor and ensure safety of attendees.
He said: “In collaboration with the Lagos State Safety Commission and the Biosecurity Unit of the Ministry of Health, we’ve seen some areas that need strengthening.
“We’ve been observing these for some days now and we are strengthening the protocols, so that as events are leading up to the seven days and during the seven days, we will have marshals on ground, we will have biosecurity experts on ground, will continuously monitor the situation and work with SCOAN to make sure we can keep this place safe and keep the congregation safe and keep Lagosian safe”