COVID -19 : Gov. Abiodun lifts restriction on weekends, opens worship centres
Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun on Friday said that the weekend restriction of movement due to the Coronavirus pandemic had been lifted, saying that worship centres were also free to reopen for activities.
The governor disclosed this in a statement issued in Abeokuta on Friday.
He appealed to the people particularly religious leaders to ensure that they adhere strictly to the protocols as had been agreed upon.
“We all agreed on these protocols to open the worship centres for many reasons.
All congregants must wear their face masks appropriately (that is, No facemask, No entry);
i. Adequate provision of running water;
iii. Worship centres should be adequately cleaned and decontaminated before and after services;iv. Household bleach solution / equivalent should be adequately prepared for disinfectations;v. There should be adequate provision and supervision of multiple Veronica Buckets for handwashing (fully automated handwashing machines are preferable);vi. There should be provision of alcohol-based sanitiser which must be used before and after service;vii. Worship centres should provide adequate toilet facilities with water;viii. Muslims are advised to perform ablution at home and go to Mosque with their personal praying mats;ix. Qualified Medical Practitioners or trained personnels should check the temperature of worshippers with infrared thermometer before allowing them to enter worship centres;x. There should be adequate medical support for sick persons;xi. All services on Friday/Sunday and other week days must adhere strictly to COVID-19 Guidelines;xii. There should be pre-designated standing position/sitting positions to ensure not less than 2 meter spacing;xiii. The duration of religious services should not be more than one and a half hours. In addition, same duration of one and a half hours must be observed as intervals, where there are multiple services;xiv. The use of Air-conditioners should be discouraged while worship centres should be well ventilated with the use of fans;xv. There should not be any handshakes/hugs by worshippers;xvi. Proper awareness of the susceptibility of the aged and people with signs of ill-health should be adequately created among worshippers at all times;xvii. Constant sensitisation of COVID-19 and its dangers should be included in sermon and goodwill messages;xviii. Provision of isolation rooms is mandatory in all worship centres or facilities;xix. Religious services and events should be recorded with digital camera for record purposes;xx. Worship Centres and facilities with more than 200 worshippers in a given service must seek further clearance with the State Government;xxi. At all times, there should be effective Entry and Exit Management Procedures in each of the Worship Centres;xxii. Administration of Holy Communion should be devoid of sharing of any item and must follow COVID-19 protocols.
“As at Thursday, 13th August, 2020, the COVID-19 statistics in Ogun State are: 7,122 screened persons; 1,521 confirmed cases; 1,288 persons treated and discharged; 24 fatalities; while we have 206 receiving medical attention.
“Records from the Presidential Task Force indicate that the number of positive cases went down over the last two weeks but that does not mean that the pandemic has reached the peak.
” Our approach and efforts are improving day by day. We will continue to test and identify infected people for prompt treatment and resultantly flatten the curve.
“Let me say that now that our worship centres are open for activities, the restrictions on weekends are lifted, but the limitation on social gatherings not exceeding 20 people at any place at the same time is still very much in force.
“Other measures still in place include:i. Observation of dusk-to-dawn curfew as directed by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) i.e. between 10.00pm and 4.00am daily;ii. Wearing of face masks in the public is compulsory and failure to do so is punishable.iii. Only one passenger is still allowed for motorcycles and two passengers only for tricycles;iv. Taxi cabs and buses still have 60% limitation on their carrying capacity and non-adherence attracts sanction;v. The COVID-19 Task Force in markets must continue to ensure physical distancing, availability of hand washing facilities, and use of gloves and facemasks for traders;vi. Decontamination will continue in our markets and other public places;vii. Process of certifying leisure facilities – Gyms, arcades, swimming pools, barber-shops, spas, beauty Salons, public parks and golf courses including those in private residential estates with a view to reopening them is in progress;viii. Event centres, bars, casinos, cinemas, and night clubs are still under lockdown;ix. Restaurants are permitted to provide only take-away services and should also ensure that there are no more than 15 customers at a time with physical distancing measures in place. Guidelines for eat-in services are still being fine-tuned;x. All industries in Ogun State must continue to comply with the “Infection Prevention and Control Guidelines for Workplaces in Ogun State to Combat COVID-19” as issued by the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investments. Therefore, testing of staff for COVID-19 in all industries in the State must be sustained;xi. The Task Force set up to conduct random spot checks on the premises of the industries, restaurants and other business enterprises to confirm compliance is still in operation.
“We thank everybody for their support and cooperation since the beginning of this new normal. But let us not forget that COVID 19 is still with us.
“The fact that we are opening more sectors does not mean that COVID-19 is gone. It is of great importance that we must be able to balance welfare, wellness and wellbeing with economic activities,” he said.