Sanwo-Olu relaxes ban on worship centres, limits congregation to 40% of maximum capacity

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Sanwo-Olu relaxes ban on worship centres, limits congregation to 40% of maximum capacity

Abiodun OBA

The Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has announced religious centres can now open from  June 19 under strict monitoring to ensure compliance to set guidelines.

Sanwo-Olu who announced this at State House, Marina, during a media briefing on the update of the management of Coronavirus and the second phase of the gradual easing of C0VID-19 lockdown in the state, said only Friday and Sunday services are allowed with 40percent attendance of their maximum capacity.

No worship centre no matter how big would be allowed to accommodate more than 500 worshippers at a session.

He said that congregational worship in mosques would resume Friday June 19, while Christians would resume on Sunday, June 21.

Sanwo-Olu said that the religious houses are only to run Sunday services for churches and Friday Jumat for Muslims.

Sanwo-Olu also said those below 15 years of age and above 65 years old would not be allowed into places of worship, due to their vulnerability to the virus.

”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 the virus.

”That is why we will from 14 days time, precisely from the 19th of June for our Muslim worshippers, from the 21st of June, for our Christian worshipers, be allowing all of our religious bodies to open at the maximum of 40 per cent of their capacity.

The Governor advised there should be no food sharing, communion and any other thing that could aid virus transfer.

”We know that these places of worship have different sizes, but even if your 40 per cent capacity is really so large, you cannot have beyond 500, and keeping that 40 percent maximum capacity is really, really so, so important.

”We will be encouraging people to have more than one service and to ensure that they keep their premises clean, disinfect before another round of worship can take place,” the governor said.

He also urged all religious houses to adhere strictly to safety measures like fumigating and keeping the premises clean, making sure worshipers wear face mask before entering, use of sanitizer, among others.

Sanwo-Olu said that the Lagos State Safety Commission would not only register but would be going round to check level of compliance.

The governor admonished worshippers and residents to wear face mask always as the level of compliance on wearing of face mask was not encouraging.

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