Churches In Oyo To Hold Crossover Service Under Strict COVID-19 Protocols

File photo of the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde.

 

The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has approved the conduct of the crossover service by churches in the state.

Makinde, in a statement issued on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Taiwo Adisa, however, warned worship centres to hold their services in strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

“The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has approved the suspension of the 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. curfew earlier imposed on states by the Federal Government, saying that officials of the State’s Task Force on Covid-19 will ensure strict compliance to the guidelines and advisories during the Yuletide and after,” the statement partly read.

“The governor, has, therefore, directed that religious centres be allowed to hold crossover worship services only in strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols.”

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Urges Nigerians To Pray Hard Ahead Of 2021

Makinde gave the directives in a brief endorsed by the chairman of the Technical Team of the COVID-19 Task Force, Professor Temitope Alonge, which reviewed the earlier pronouncement of the Technical Team and lifted the curfew.

However, other advisories earlier released by the Task Force, including the directive of 50 per cent occupancy for worship and event centres, ban of street carnivals and others, remain in effect.

The Oyo State Task Force on COVID-19 had, in a communique released on Tuesday,  earlier warned individuals, families and corporate organisations in the state to adhere to protocols such as the use of face masks in public places, social distancing and regular washing of hands.

The Task Force had equally reminded event centres on the existing advisory on 50 per cent capacity occupancy for events, while also enforcing the proper use of face masks and handing washing requirements.

It admonished residents of the state, including private healthcare providers and individuals feeling unwell, to access the available testing centres across the 33 local government areas of the state.

Lagos Govt Directs Churches, Mosques To Suspend Crossover Events, Vigils

A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Lagos State government has directed all churches and mosques to suspend all-night services, including vigils and crossover events in the state.

This comes ahead of the annual practice in which millions of worshippers storm various religious centres for crossover services to usher in the new year.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, issued the directive on Thursday while briefing reporters at the State House in Marina, Lagos.

He stated that the curfew imposed by the Federal Government between midnight and 4am daily would be enforced.

Governor Sanwo-Olu explained that the emergency required to tame the second wave of COVID-19 would not permit public gatherings and crowding, especially in yuletide when religious centres would be holding services and vigils.

READ ALSO: Don’t Close Down Your COVID-19 Treatment Centres, PTF Begs State Govts

He said, “All over the world, Christmas period is associated with gathering, merriment and travelling, which all, sadly, contribute to the spread of the virus.

“We must now seek to minimise as much of these activities as we can, at this time. Let this Christmas be a period of sober reflection.”

“The quicker we are able to tame this raging virus, through responsible behaviour, the higher the likelihood that we will enjoy the year 2021 that is not as restrictive and challenging as 2020.

“By acting responsibly, we are not doing only ourselves a favour; we are doing other people a favour as well, especially those among us who are elderly or medically vulnerable,” the governor added.

A combination of photos showing worshippers in a church and a mosque.

 

No Justification For Socialising

As part of the measures to curtail the spread of the virus, he strongly advised residents to cancel all non-essential travels, regardless of destinations.

Governor Sanwo-Olu also directed all in-bound international passengers arriving into the country through Lagos to subject themselves to COVID-19 test on the seventh day of their arrival.

According to him, all business and social establishments in Lagos must strictly enforce the “No Mask, No Entry” policy.

The governor insisted that there was no justification for socialising in the period of public health crisis without exercising caution.

He, therefore, warned those who were bent on flouting the state’s regulations that the government would bring the weight of the laws on them.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who just recovered from the disease thanked the frontline workers and medical personnel who attended to him during his period of isolation.

“I received very dedicated and competent care from the Lagos State COVID-19 Treatment Team, and I am extremely proud of the work they do,” he said.

Yuletide: Lagos Asks Churches, Mosques To Enforce COVID-19 Protocols, Bans Carnivals

A combination of photos showing a cross and some Muslim faithful in a mosque.

 

The Lagos State government has asked churches, mosques, and other places of worship to enforce the existing COVID-19 protocols amid the rising cases reported recently in the state.

It asked them to ensure all gatherings must not exceed two hours with attendance not more than 50 per cent of the maximum capacity of the venue.

The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, issued the directives in a statement personally signed by him on Friday.

He also declared that concerts, carnivals and street parties have banned in all parts of the state until further notice.

According to the governor, night clubs have not been allowed to open yet and all night clubs in the state should be shut down indefinitely with immediate effect.

He explained that the directives became important as all local governments in Lagos have begun to record an increase in COVID-19 cases.

A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Photo: [email protected]

 

Governor Sanwo-Olu, however, noted that the situation was not peculiar to Lagos alone, noting that the entire country was also seeing a rise in the numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“Of every 100 tests that we now perform, an average of 10 turn out to be positive. This is an increase from the five per hundred recorded in September, but lower than our peak in August which was between 20 and 30 per hundred.

“This suggests the existence of active community transmission and represents the very likely possibility of the emergence of the second wave in Lagos State,” he said.

The governor added, “This second wave calls for a full re-awakening of caution and precaution. The complacency that crept in over the last few months as a result of our early interventions when cases started to decline from our peak in August, must now give way to an abundance of vigilance.”

As part of public health directives, he ordered the closure of all public and private schools in Lagos indefinitely and asked all public servants from Grade Level 14 and below to work from home for the next 14 days starting from Monday next week – in the first instance.

While Governor Sanwo-Olu noted that emergency workers and first responders were exempted, he stated that the 12am to 4am curfew imposed by the Federal Government remained in place.

He also directed that guests and service providers at any event with high temperature (above 37.5 degrees) should be politely turned back and referred to paramedics or the emergency response team.

Ekiti Govt Lifts Curfew, Asks Churches, Mosques To Open Without Restrictions

A file photo of Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi.

 

The Ekiti State government has lifted the curfew imposed on the state with effect from 6am on Sunday.

Mr Akin Omole, the Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation in the state, announced this in a statement on Saturday.

He explained that the decision to lift the curfew was taken after an assessment of the security situation and the restoration of relative peace in the state.

According to him, the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, also approved the lifting of the restrictions placed on religious gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic with effect from tomorrow.

“While churches and mosques are now free to open for worship without restrictions, worshippers are advised to continue adhering with the COVID-19 protocol, which includes wearing face-masks, maintaining social distancing, and proper hand-washing or hand-sanitising before joining respective congregations,” the statement said.

Omole asked the residents to remain law-abiding and go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation.

He gave an assurance that the government would leave no stone unturned towards ensuring the safety of the lives and property of the people in the state.

The commissioner, however, advised the people to be vigilant and promptly report suspicious movement to relevant authorities.

Lagos Govt Okays Full Reopening Of Churches, Mosques

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu (File Photo)

 

After months of being shut down, the Lagos State Government has approved the full reopening of worship centres in the state.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announced this during a briefing in the state on Saturday.

According to him, churches are now allowed to observe their mid-week services, while the mosques are also allowed to carry out their five times a day prayer routine, with strict compliance to COVID-19 safety protocols.

“We must not forget that the coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must, therefore, strive to prioritize the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society,” the governor said.

Before now, the state had allowed for a gradual re-opening of places of worship as lockdowns eased.

With the full re-opening now, the governor has urged Lagosians to continue to act responsibly and maintain the required levels of hygiene.

Read Also: Gyms, Cinemas Now Allowed To Open – Lagos Govt

Some other parts of the world have witnessed a resurgence of COVID-19 infections and rising possibilities of “hard lockdowns”, which according to Governor Sanwo-Olu may become inevitable for Nigerians if caution is not applied.

“Let me make it clear that if we do not continue to maintain our guard, and sustain the adherence to all required protocols and guidelines, we will find ourselves in a situation where fresh lockdowns are inevitable,” he warned.

“The only way to avoid this is to continue to act responsibly: maintain the required levels of hygiene, through regular handwashing and use of sanitizers, wear masks in all public places, avoid non-essential public gatherings, and maintain the prescribed levels of physical distancing at all times”.

The total infections in the country have now risen to 56,956, with 48,305 patients recovered and 1,094 deaths recorded.

At the onset of the virus in Nigeria, Lagos became the epicenter, gapping other states with its case load despite frantic efforts to curb the spread.

However, in recent times, other states such as Plateau have started to witness a surge with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 stating that it might become the new epicenter in the country.

COVID-19: Churches Reopen In Lagos State

 

Worship centres in Lagos have re-opened partially across the state today, after being locked down for several months in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

This follows the directive announced by governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on august the 1st with the provision that worship centers can only fill up 50 per cent of their capacity.

The state government last Thursday released several safety protocols and guidelines numbering 46 that must be adhered to during services at places of worship in the first phase.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Tests Negative For COVID-19

Worshippers are seen maintaining their social distance as they partake in worship on Sunday.

Commissioner for home affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, further revealed that the state is not interested in sanctioning any religious house but will encourage them to comply with guidelines for reopening of worship centers.

In a similar vein, the Federal Ministry of Health has urged places of worship to ensure that their members worship in well-ventilated spaces.

According to a Twitter post by the Health Ministry, all worshipers are enjoined to continue their worship safely by maintaining a distance of 2 metres from others.

Govt Postpones Reopening Of Churches, Mosques In Ekiti

A map of Ekiti, a state in South-West Nigeria.

 

The Ekiti State government has postponed the reopening of churches and mosques in the state until August 14 as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the state.

This was announced in a statement by the Commissioner of Health and Human Services, Dr Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, in the state.

She explained that the decision to shift the date for the reopening of worship centres in Ekiti was taken to enable the stakeholders have enough time to meet the government’s conditions.

Yaya-Kolade, who is also the Chairman of the Committee on Reopening of Worship Places in Ekiti, noted a communique by the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria.

She believes the statement which emanated from the Christian group is suggestive of the fact that worship centres are not ready to comply with the conditions set out by the government.

According to the commissioner, the government is committed to its constitutional responsibility for the safety of lives and properties of residents in the state.

She stressed that for worship centres to reopen, the government will take seriously, fumigation of the premises, social distancing, provision of infrared thermometer, hours of worship.

Yaya-Kolade insisted that it was important to enforce the age limit, saying children between the age of one to 12 and adults above the age of 65 years should be exempted from congregational worships.

Ekiti reported five new cases of (COVID-19) on Thursday, bringing to 72 the total number of confirmed cases in the state.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said 30 patients were receiving treatment at the government’s isolation centre, 40 others have been discharged while two persons have lost the battle to COVID-19.

Read the statement by the commissioner below:

Churches, Mosques, Event Centres In Lagos Remain Closed, Says Sanwo-Olu

A file photo of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Lagos State government has insisted that there is no definite time yet for the reopening of churches, mosques, and event centres in the state.

While giving an update on the disease outbreak in the state on Friday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu noted that worship centres would remain closed until further notice.

He said, “Places of worship will remain closed in Lagos State, until further notice. All social and events centres, and social clubs, will also remain closed, for now.

“However, a list of social clubs with verifiable Trustees and Governing Board that have met strict guidelines will be released from time to time for supervised openings, as approved by the Incident Commander on the recommendation of the Lagos State Safety Commission.”

 

‘No Mask, No Service’

The governor, who stated that the nationwide daily curfew remained in force in the state from 10pm to 4am, announced that the state government has made some changes to its COVID-19 protocols.

According to him, hairdressing salons that have been accredited by the government may begin to open strictly on an appointment-only basis, with a maximum occupancy of 40 per cent of the total floor space at any given time.

Governor Sanwo-Olu added that communal sports facilities and use of recreational parks in residential estates would be permitted to operate, but with a maximum of 20 persons at any given time.

He explained that this was to promote well-being and appealed to the Residents’ Associations to strictly adhere to the guidelines in the interest of public health.

On the proposed resumption of local flight operations, the governor said, “The Federal Government has approved the reopening of the Airport in Lagos for domestic operations from Wednesday, July 8, 2020.

“The relevant Federal Agencies are putting out additional information to guide intending passengers and airport users; I enjoin everyone to look out for this information.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu, therefore, reminded the residents that the use of face masks in public places was mandatory.

“We are asking offices and business and commercial premises to refuse entry to any persons not wearing masks, in line with the Presidential Task Force directive on ‘No mask, no entry. No mask, no service,” he said.

El-Rufai Orders Reopening Of Churches, Mosques In Kaduna

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.

 

 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has ordered the reopening of worship centres across the state.

He, however, directed that churches should conduct services only on Sundays and Mosques would hold Ju’mat prayers only Fridays for the time being.

The governor gave the directives on Tuesday in a state-wide broadcast, saying the reopening of worship centres would be subjected to compliance with safety guidelines and stipulations.

He also approved the reopening of public transport operations under the conditions that the operators must reduce capacity to not more than two passengers per row and not more than 50% of capacity.

Governor El-Rufai announced that the amended Quarantine Order would take effect from Wednesday, June 10.

He approved that supermarkets and providers of personal services such as hairdressing and barbers’ shops should reopen, while hotels can open fully but their restaurants and bars must offer only room services.

Under the conditions, the governor lifted the restriction of intra-state movement but subject to a night-time curfew of 8pm-5am, adding that businesses can reopen but should provide thermometers for temperature checks, sanitisers or handwashing equipment, and physical distancing measures within their facilities.

He noted that the working hours would be 9am-3pm daily, stressing that public servants would resume work in phases which would be announced by the Head of Service.

Governor El-Rufai insisted that with the present stage of COVID-19 containment, it was still considered unsafe for markets and schools to reopen.

He said the government would keep engaging with the relevant stakeholders on the matter to determine the appropriate timing and conditions precedent.

The governor, therefore, urged the residents to take responsibility and comply with the safety measures.

He warned that the relaxation of the quarantine order would be reversed in the event of a spike in COVID-19 infections or unsatisfactory compliance level with the conditions, and total quarantine would be re-imposed to preserve health and protect lives.

On border closure, Governor El-Rufai explained that government officials would continue to visit state boundaries to reduce unauthorised interstate travel.

He added that within the state, security checkpoints would be allowed only to enforce compliance with the night-time curfew.

The governor said the government would continue to implement the policy of repatriating almajirai back to their parents to afford them due care and the right to free education.

COVID-19: Akwa Ibom Sets Up Committees To Monitor Reopening Of Churches

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel

 

Akwa Ibom State Government has set up a committee to monitor the reopening of churches in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

This comes as the state government lifted the ban on religious gathering, thus making churches to resume services on June 7.

The Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem made this known in a statement issued on Saturday.

According to him, a total of four monitoring committees have been set up to monitor the three senatorial districts of the state and Uyo the capital city.

Members of the committee comprise the representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria, the local government councils, and the Nigeria Police.

They are saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that churches comply with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines on the prevention and control of the pandemic.

The SSG, however, warned residents that the ban on social gatherings such as burials and weddings are still in force, stressing that all schools are to remain closed till further notice.

While appreciating the private sector for supporting the government’s efforts in curbing the spread of the virus in the state, Ekuwem lamented that the Federal Government had yet to support the state financially.

Akwa Ibom has so far recorded a total of 45 cases with 14 patients being discharged, two deaths recorded and 29 active cases.

Mosques, Churches In Lagos To Reopen From June 19 And 21 – Sanwo-Olu

A file photo of Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
A file photo of Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

 

 

The Lagos State government has reviewed some of the protocols being used to curb the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

Addressing a press conference on Thursday at the Government House in Lagos, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced that the government would be relaxing the measures in the coming days.

He explained that this included the approval to reopen religious centres in the next two weeks, although it would come with some conditions.

“Dear Lagosians, we have completed an extended first phase and now, we are entering the second phase of our easing of the lockdown, in line with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and NCDC protocols on ease of lockdown,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He added, “From 14 days’ time, precisely from June 19 for our Muslim worshippers and from June 21 for our Christian worshippers; we will be allowing all of our religious bodies to open at a maximum of 40 per cent of their capacity and we will be working with them as expected.”

For places of worship with large crowds, the governor insisted that worshippers at such centres must not exceed 500 during a session.

He, however, noted that the government has allowed authorities to conduct more than one service but must maintain proper hygiene of the environment.

According to Sanwo-Olu, only Friday and Sunday services should be held for now and all other regular services, including night vigils, must be put on hold.

“As we all know, mass gathering during COVID-19 pandemic can be of serious public health consequences and there are documented evidence that mass gathering can increase the spread of this virus,” he stated.

The governor noted that the PTF had on Monday released a set of guidelines to further ease the lockdown but asked the state governments to build on the foundational guidelines issued and implement them to existing local realities.

In view of this, he announced that hotels and other hospitality businesses could reopen, and restaurants outside hotels were permitted to open for takeaway services only.

He explained that the government has engaged critical stakeholders in the last two weeks, including traditional rulers, various religious leaders, and members of the organised private sector in the state.

Sanwo-Olu said, “We have now granted offices and private businesses (excluding the prohibited one); all of our organised private sector and manufacturing concerns will now operate and open from 7am-6pm.

“There is a strategy to encourage them run shifts and other flexible hours within their facilities.”

He also announced that all banks can now begin full operation, adding that government officers on Levels 13 and 14 should resume work while those on Levels 1 to 12 would stay back home until further notice.

Churches In Akwa Ibom To Reopen From Sunday

A file photo of a church.

 

 

The Akwa Ibom State government has approved the reopening of churches in the state from Sunday, June 7.

The Commissioner for Information in the state, Charles Udoh, announced this in a statement on Sunday.

He explained that the decision was taken based on guidelines recommended by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) backed by an undertaking to comply and signed by representatives of all the blocs.

According to Udoh, the state government is confident that CAN, being a body full of integrity will do everything within its jurisdiction to ensure that all churches adhere strictly to the guidelines.

He warned that violators would be prosecuted and a joint monitoring team – comprising representatives of government, security agencies, and CAN – has been set up in each senatorial district to monitor compliance level.

The commissioner, however, warned that the ban on burials, weddings, and all forms of social gatherings remained in force until further notice.

He asked the residents to continue to observe all prescribed guidelines on religious and social gatherings, as well as physical distancing while wearing face masks in public places.