COVID-19: Lagos Govt Stops Planned Reopening Of Worship Centers

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 stopped the reopening of worship centers initially scheduled for Friday, June 19 (mosques) and Sunday, June 21 (churches).

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced the decision at a press briefing on Tuesday.

According to him, the development became necessary as a result of the rising cases of COVID-19 in the state.

“Dear Lagosians, in the most recent guidelines which we issued on the gradual easing of the lockdown, based on the advice of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, I noted that we would shortly be permitting the restricted opening of religious houses, on the condition of strict compliance with detailed guidelines issued by the Lagos State Safety Commission.

“We have been closely monitoring the situation since then, and have now concluded that we cannot proceed with any form of re-opening for places of worship in Lagos State, until further notice,” Sanwo-Olu said.

“This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, it is simply in line with our ongoing evaluation of evolving scenarios regarding the course of the infection in Lagos State and the corresponding public health advisory guidelines issued by the experts.

“So, let me say this again: we are now hereby suspending, with immediate effect, the plan to re-open religious houses and places of worship in Lagos State, until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and continue to base our decision-making on data modelling; as well as on the responsibility we have to act in a manner that ensures the protection of all of you the people of Lagos State.

“Therefore, until further notice, all places of worship in Lagos State will remain closed. Social and events centers, and social clubs, will also remain closed, for now,” he added.

 

On Monday, Nigeria recorded 573 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 16,658.

Of the new infections, Lagos reported the highest figure with 216 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 7,319.

Consequently, the state has remained the epicentre of infections in the country, closely followed by the FCT with 1,264 and Kano state with 1,158.

To curb further spread of the virus, the Federal Government had in March, imposed a lockdown on the three majorly affected states at the time (Lagos, Ogun State and the FCT).

Subsequently, other states began to impose varying degrees of curfews and governors eventually agreed on interstate lockdowns as they began to record new infections.

But weeks after the federal government-imposed lockdown, President Muhammadu Buhari announced again that there would be a gradual easing of the lockdown in order to allow economic activities resume as the country could not sustain an extended period of economic inactivity.

While essential workers and other levels of workers have been allowed to resume so far, the government has still appealed to those who can afford to stay at home, to do so.

Reducing interpersonal contacts and maintaining social distancing of up to 2-3 meters is said to be one of the ways to curb the spread of the virus but that in itself has proven to be a difficult task for most Nigerians.

Other measures to stay safe include sneezing or coughing into your elbow, washing of hands regularly, use of alcohol-based sanitizers and wearing of face masks.


RELATED

‘No Hugging, Kissing’ – PTF Releases Guidelines For Reopening Worship Centers

PHOTOS: Churches Reopen As FG Eases COVID-19 Restrictions

PHOTOS: Muslims In Abuja Gather To Pray As COVID-19 Restrictions Ease


 

While most businesses have been allowed to resume with strict adherence to the above measures, schools, cinemas, clubs and other places of mass social gatherings remain shut.

However, on June 1, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 lifted the ban on religious gatherings in the country.

While the PTF had said it does not recommend that people resume at places of worship, it noted that if they have to, they must adhere strictly to the guidelines, some of which include the mandatory use of face masks by worshippers and provision of handwashing spots at the entrances.

Also, the use of hand sanitizers with at least sixty per cent alcohol content and mandatory temperature checks was advised.

The PTF also mandated that facilities be structured in a way that physical distancing can be observed and as much as possible, congregants avoid activities such a hugging, shaking or kissing.

In addition, it noted that church/mosque volunteers (ushers, choir, security etc) that have underlying illnesses should not be allowed to serve, while the time for worship services should not be more than one hour.

Following the announcement, states began to lift the ban placed on worship centers.

In Lagos State, the governor on June 4, announced that worship centers could reopen but limit the capacity of persons per time to 40%.

For larger worship centers, he said the maximum of attendees should be 500 persons per time.

The reopening was to commence on June 21 for churches and June 19 for mosques.

Read Also: Ganduje Reopens Viewing Centres, Donates 40, 000 Masks In Kano

FCT Confirms 50 New Cases Of COVID-19 As Death Toll Rises To 22

Malam Muhammad Musa Bello

 

The Federal Capital Territory Authority, FCTA, on Sunday confirmed 50 new cases of COVID-19. 

FCTA made the confirmation while announcing that Abuja now has a total of 912 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

It also disclosed that a total of 22 people have died, while 248 patients have been discharged.

Below is the tweet by the FCTA.

How Easing Of Lockdown Will Be Implemented – PTF

The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has given a breakdown of how the easing of the lockdown in Lagos, Ogun State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) will be implemented.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday April 27, approved that as from May 4, the lockdown could be eased in phases to allow the recommencement of socio-economic activities, as with a 6:00 am t 8:00 pm curfew in place.

But according to the National Coordinator of the Task Force, Aliyu Sani, during Wednesday’s briefing, the easing of the lockdown is actually just a shift from one set of interventions to another.

“The most important thing I want to emphasize is, even though we talk about easing the lockdown, in actual fact, we are not really easing, we are just shifting from one set of interventions to another because we are really still far from controlling this epidemic,” he said.

For general movements outside the curfew periods, the PTF coordinator said: “people may go out for work, to buy necessary food and for exercise but we strongly advise persons to restrict themselves to their local government areas except for those that live in metropolitan areas”.

Interstate travel, according to him, will be restricted to only those involved in the supply chain and services such as goods, agricultural products, petroleum products, courier services and relief items etc.

On the other hand, for intrastate movement, services and businesses were advised to provide hand sanitizers for customers.

The general public was also advised to imbibe the use of face masks, and other hygiene methods.

On the issue of mass gatherings, Aliyu said there shall be no gatherings of more than 20 persons anywhere per time so as to ensure adherence to physical distancing.

For the manufacturing sector, “we encourage shift work for manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies and limiting staff to only 30-50% to maintain physical distancing and pharmacy shops may remain open overnight,” he said.

Financial institutions such as banks will be allowed to open but there will be restriction of opening hours between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm.

Restaurants have been asked not open to the public but will be allowed to engage in in-home delivery of food.

Academic institutions are, however, advised to remain closed until further evaluation is done.

“Schools are encouraged to continue with e-learning and virtual teaching”, the PTF coordinator added.

As for government staff, he stated that they will be allowed to resume based on specific grade levels and specific days, so as to reduce the level of congestion at the workplace.

Buhari Signs Proclamation Order On COVID-19 In States, FCT

Atiku, Ezekwesili Absent As Buhari And Other Candidates Sign Peace Accord
File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari signing a document.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Proclamation Order on the General Management of COVID-19 in Lagos, Ogun, Kano, the Federal Capital Territory, and other states.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, confirmed this in a statement on Monday.

READ ALSO: Reps To Probe Legality Of Chinese Nationals In Nigeria For Repatriation

He explained that President Buhari gave the hint in his broadcast to the nation – the third since the outbreak of coronavirus in the country.

Adesina noted that the President’s action was in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 3 of the Quarantine Act, CAP Q2 Laws of the Federation 2004, and all powers enabling him in that behalf.

Minister Denies Claims That COVID-19 Palliatives Are For Party Supporters

The minister says the allegation is a figment of the imagination of those who do not understand the process.

 

 

The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ramat Aliyu, has denied claims that palliatives being distributed for FCT residents are meant for political party supporters only.

Aliyu, in an interview on Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics, described the claim as a figment of the imagination of some people who do not understand the processes for the distribution.

While explaining the modalities, she said the focus was on cushioning the effect of COVID-19 lockdown on all vulnerable residents as the virus was no respecter of any political party or affiliation.

READ ALSO: Borno, Akwa Ibom Record First COVID-19 Deaths As More Patients Recover

“It is a figment of their imagination. Maybe before now, they are used to politicising everything, but we are moving away from that now. We are facing reality because COVID-19 knows no barrier.

“COVID-19 knows no tribe, religion or even political party. From the composition of the organogram, the structure is replicated down to the grassroots,” she said.

She added volunteers and representatives from various groups, including the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), League of Imams, political parties, civil society groups, among others were part of the distribution process.

According to Aliyu, over 600,00 households are targeted to receive the package which is made up of 5kg of rice, 3kg of garri, 3kg of semovita, 2kg of beans, 10 sachets of tomato paste, and one litre of groundnut oil, among others.

PHOTOS: FG Begins Distribution Of Palliatives To 600,000 Households In Abuja

Some of the items to be distributed to residents in the Federal Capital Territory. PHOTO: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

The Federal Government has commenced the distribution of palliatives to 600,000 households in Abuja.

The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ramatu Aliyu, flagged off the distribution on Friday in the nation’s capital.

This comes as part of efforts by the government to cushion the effect of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.

READ ALSO: 35 New Cases Of COVID-19 Confirmed By The NCDC

Of the total number of the 442 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 13 people including a medical doctor have died while 152 patients have recovered from the disease.

Aliyu gave an assurance that the distribution of palliatives would capture all the poor and vulnerable persons in the FCT.

See more photos below:

The FCT Minister of State, Ramatu Aliyu, says the distribution of palliatives will capture all the poor and vulnerable persons in the nation’s capital. PHOTOS: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

PHOTOS! COVID-19: Mobile Court Tries FCT Lockdown Defaulters

Defaulters of COVID-19 lockdown being tried by a mobile court at (AYA roundabout) in Asokoro, FCT., Abuja on 16th April 2020. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has activated mobile courts to try violators of the lockdown directives.

The violators if found guilty will be fined and their vehicles impounded until after the lockdown.

Defaulting individuals will pay #10,000 with community service for seven days.

Those with tricycles will pay #7,000 while motorbike operators will also pay #7,000.

Cars will pay #20,000 and trucks will pay #50,000.

All penalties go with seven days of community service.

See Photos Below:

PHOTOS: Abuja Residents Keep Fit As Lockdown Persists

Picture courtesy: Sodiq Adelakan

 

It’s been eight days since the Federal Government announced a total lockdown in major cities of the country – Abuja, Lagos and Ogun state to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But as the lockdown continues into its second week, many residents have taken to different ways to keep themselves occupied.

For some in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the lockdown is an opportunity to keep fit, amongst other things.

See Photos Below:

 

Abuja Records One New Case Of Coronavirus, Bringing Total Number To 27

 

One new case of the COVID19 has been confirmed in the Federal Capital Territory.

This was confirmed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Sunday, March 22. 

READ ALSO: Oyo Records First Case Of Coronavirus As New Victims Emerge Across Nigeria

According to the NCDC’s report via Twitter, Nigeria as at 11:00am on the 22nd of March, now has 27 confirmed cases of #COVID19 .

While the 27th case has been confirmed the NCDC also noted that two persons of the number recorded have discharged.

As at the time of the report, there have been no death recorded with regards to the virus. 

Doctors Down Tools Over Non-Payment Of Salaries

 

Resident doctors working in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, are downing their tools indefinitely, in protest against the non-payment of salaries for members spaning into seven months.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, the president of the Association of Resident Doctors in Abuja, Roland Aigbovo, noted that the decision to embark on the indefinite strike action has become their last resort after several failed promises by the FCT administration to pay their entitlements.

According to him, some doctors who received January salaries got only a paltry sum, ranging from one-fifth to one-tenth of their monthly salaries.

Police Arrest Suspect Over Aso Rock Director’s Murder

 

The police in Abuja have arrested a suspect over the death of an Assistant Director attached to the State House in Abuja, Laetitia Dagan.

According to a statement by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Command spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, the arrest followed a preliminary probe by the criminal investigation department of the force.

READ ALSO: Bayelsa: Mischief-Makers Using My Silence To ‘Instigate Violence’, Says David Lyon

The police added that the suspect whose identity was not revealed conspired with others, who are still at large, to carry out the crime.

The statement, also, warned members of the public to overlook inaccurate stories on social media about the murder of Dagan so as not to pre-empt investigation.

47-year-old Dagan was killed by gunmen on Monday evening in her apartment in the Galadimawa District of Abuja.

With Over 3,000 Housing Estates In Abuja, Deficit Still Reaches Nearly Two Million

 

Asides being the seat of government, Abuja is known for its expansive infrastructure and sprawling properties.

But despite this reality, the high number of unoccupied houses in the nation’s capital is gradually becoming a cause for concern, especially as many residents cannot afford the rent.

According to the Federal Capital Territory Administration, the housing deficit for the nation’s capital now hovers around 1.7 and two million.

It also says at least 600 abandoned buildings have been identified by the authorities, with most of them located in Gwarimpa, Wuse, Garki, Maitama, Asokoro and Apo – way above the means of most civil servants.

Consequently, they have to seek more affordable accommodation in the outskirts of the city.

Lamenting about the situation, the convener, Abuja Housing Show, Festus Adebayo noted that the vacant houses are a result of corruption.

“The vacant houses are caused by corruption. Few Nigerians have cornered the commonwealth of this country and what are we doing about it?

“When you come to Abuja, you’ll see people living in some villages that you can’t even pronounce their names properly and every morning you see heavy traffic along those suburbs because the people have to come to the city in the name of earning their daily bread,” he said.

Read Also: ICPC To Investigate Ownership Of Unoccupied Houses In Abuja

Also addressing the matter, the Director, FCT Development Control Department, Muktar Galadima explained that they are making moves to take over the properties.

“We are proposing to the Federal Executive Council, if they can come in and acquire some of these properties and maybe as a way of solving the housing deficit of the country, giving it out to staff and other Nigerians,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) says it will commence an investigation into the ownership of the unoccupied houses in Federal Capital Territory