Lagos suspend reopening of worship centres

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Lagos State government has put on hold her plan to lift ban on worship centres accruing from coronavirus outbreak.

The ban, which is in force since March ending as one of the slew of measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19 was earlier lifted by the state government effective from June 19 for Muslim faithful and June 21 for their Christian counterparts.

However, Governor Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday during his routine address to Lagosians said the plan has been jettisoned citing spike in cases of the virus in the state, and not to imperil the gains of the ban in the fight against the pandemic.

Sanwo-Olu said: “As at midnight yesterday, June 15, 2020, Lagos State had recorded a total of 7,319 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Of this number, 1,137 have fully recovered and been discharged, while 82 have sadly died, leaving 6,100 active cases under management in the State.

“Our dear State therefore continues to be the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, with about 44 per cent of the total number of confirmed cases nationwide.

“Let me again say that the steady increase in number of confirmed cases is by no means unexpected. Considering that the infection is now very much in our midst, the more we test, the more the number of positive cases that will emerge.

“The uplifting news is that, based on the statistics emerging from Lagos State, more than 90 per rcent of the people who test positive will go on to fully recover under supervision, and be discharged.

Continued: “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.

“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.

“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 modeling; as well as on the responsibility we have to act in a manner that ensures the protection of all o 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.

“This means that, while the Government maintains its responsibility to take protective decisions for the common good, what will ultimately save us all and defeat this virus are the sensible personal decisions that we take on a daily basis.

“Decisions to use masks anytime you are out of your house, to avoid non-essential travel, to stay at home when we don’t have any business being outside, to wash or sanitize our hands regularly – these are the simple but necessary steps that will save and protect us all.”

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