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COVID-19: FG lists guidelines for reopening of churches, mosques

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guidelines are baseline for states, free to introduce other conditions

Ahead of the reopening of churches and mosques nationwide, the Federal Government on Tuesday released some guidelines to govern their activities.

 

One of the guidelines is for both churches and mosques to have attendance register that will make it easy for contact tracing.

The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu, announced this on Tuesday at the PTF briefing in Abuja.

 

 

Persecondnews recalls that the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, had on Monday disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved that churches and mosques could reopen based on some guidelines.

 

In April at the outbreak of the pandemic, the government had banned large gatherings and ordered suspension of conventional religious activities to check its spread.

 

Aliyu said the government was being cautious because COVID-19 could spread easily due to the nature of religious centres.

 

“The federal government decided to reopen worship centres under specific guidelines but if you can worship at home, please do so because it is safer to worship at home. It is better to stay at home and worship than to go to a place of worship.

 

“In view of the widespread community transmission of COVID-19, it is important that places of worship operate in a safe manner to ensure the protection of public health, avoid outbreaks and safeguard the health of the vulnerable members of the population.

 

“To this end, the following guidelines have been developed as a minimum set of standards that have to be complied with for places of worship to safely operate nationwide.

 

“They have been developed by the PTF in liaison with the leadership of religious communities in the country and should be used as a baseline for states to allow these activities,’’ he said.

 

Aliyu added: “It is important to note that due to the nature of religious congregations, places of worship are particularly recognised to have a major potential for spreading COVID-19 infections amongst worshippers.

 

“Therefore places of worship that are not able to comply with these measures should not be allowed to operate by state governments.’’

 

Aliyu stressed that all places of worship must sign up to full compliance with all aspects of non-pharmaceutical interventions required to protect the public from COVID-19, including but not limited to ensuring the supply of running water and soap, alcohol sanitizers at entry and exit points in all high contact locations including bathrooms.

 

“There should be no social gathering after or before worship; frequent cleaning and disinfection of places of worship are advised; places of worship should keep detailed records of their worshippers, including contact addresses.

 

“Therefore places of worship that are not able to comply with these measures should not be allowed to operate by state governments.’’

 

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