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Churches, Mosque Will Not Reopen in Lagos State & Other COVID-19 Updates

BellaNaija.com

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241 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Nigeria

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 142 cases were recorded in Lagos, 15 in Oyo, 13 in FCT, 12 in Kano, 11 in Edo, 10 in Delta, 9 in Kaduna, 9 in Rivers, 8 in Borno, 4 in Jigawa, 3 in Gombe, 3 in Plateau, 1 in Osun and 1 in Bauchi.

In total, Nigeria has recorded 10,819 cases of COVID-19. 3239 patients have been discharged from various isolation centres across the country, while 314 deaths have been recorded.

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Churches, Mosque To Remain Closed In Lagos

The Lagos State Government has announced that churches and mosques in the state will not be reopened despite the Federal Government’s announcement on June 1st that the ban on churches and mosques had been lifted, The PUNCH reports.

The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi, said on Tuesday that Lagos being the centre of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria would not reopen worship centres until there is a “clear coast for the state to do so”.

He revealed that the State government and various leaders of the two religious bodies held several meetings, since the index case was recorded, to agree on strategies to adopt in churches and mosques in order to guarantee the safety of their members.

He said,

“Even before the pronouncement by Federal Government, we have been having meetings with the religious leaders, we even had one with Safety Commission, looking at the possibility of reopening of religious houses. We also had one with the leaders of the two faiths and I want to tell you categorically that at that meeting, the possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out totally. They claimed that they cannot take such responsibility of ensuring that only 20 or 50 people are praying behind them. Like an Imam said, he doesn’t know what is going on at the back immediately he is leading a prayer. He said if more than 20 or 50 people are staying at his back, he is not going to take responsibility for their presence. So, in the meeting, we ruled out in totality the issue of reopening the religious houses until we have a clear coast for us to do so. The Federal Government mentioned it, but it never ruled out the state in achieving that pronouncement, so all states will have to look at the possibility of doing so in their respective states. We all know Lagos is still having more figures. So, definitely, that will speak to our decision.”

He went ahead to commend religious leaders in the State for their cooperation and involvement in the ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Lagos House Of Assembly Cuts Lagos 2020 Budget to N920.5bn

According to The PUNCH, The Lagos House of Assembly has passed a resolution to reduce the size of the state’s 2020 budget from N1.68 trillion to N920.5 billion due to the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution was made following a voice vote conducted by the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, during plenary in Ikeja on Tuesday.

Obasa directed that the House Joint Committees on Budget and Economic Planning and Finance reduce the budget size of the state for the year 2020 from N1.68 trillion to N920.5 billion.

The speaker said the committees were to report back to the House within one week.

He said, “We need to do this to give us the best chance of stimulating the economy and ensuring that the post-COVID-19 response economy will be strong and enduring.”

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Lagos, Abuja, Three Other Airports To Reopen June 21st

Ahead of the June 21 date communicated by the Federal Government for the resumption of domestic flights in the country, the FG has said only five airports would be operational while the others remained closed for further assessment.

This was contained in a circular to airlines signed by the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt Musa Nuhu, The PUNCH reports.

Nuhu said,

“The closure of Nigerian airports to domestic flights has been extended to 2300Z on 20th June 2020. The gradual start of domestic flight operations will commence on 21st June 2020 with Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja, Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano, Omagwa International Airport Port Harcourt, and Sam Mbakwe Airport Owerri. Other airports will be gradually added to the network after a review and assessment.”

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Church Service Must Not Exceed An Hour, Federal Government Declares

The Federal Government has said the duration for each church service must not be more than an hour.

According to The PUNCH, The National Coordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Sani Aliyu, stated this on Tuesday during a briefing in Abuja.

Aliyu said, “For churches, each service should be for a maximum of an hour with an interval of thirty minutes in between services to allow time for disinfection.”

The national coordinator said Friday prayers in mosques should also not exceed one hour, “Mosques may open 15 minutes before and ten minutes after prayers. The total time for Friday prayers should not exceed an hour.”

He also said that there should be no gathering before or after services and all business outlets within the premises of the church or mosque must remain closed.

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WHO Says There Is No Evidence Of COVID-19 Losing Potency

The World Health Organization says there is no evidence to support an assertion made by a high-profile Italian doctor that the virus causing COVID-19 pandemic is losing potency.

This position was strongly supported by other experts, who said the clinical findings in Italy, likely do not reflect any change in the virus itself.

Professor Alberto Zangrillo, Head of Intensive Care at Italy’s San Raffaele Hospital in Lombardy, one of the areas strongly hit by the pandemic, had told RAI, the country’s national television that the new coronavirus “clinically no longer exists”.

However, WHO epidemiologist, Maria Van Kerkhove and other experts on viruses and infectious diseases disagreed with Zangrillo’s comments, stressing they were not scientifically backed.

“In terms of transmissibility, that has not changed, in terms of severity, that has not changed,” Van Kerkhove said.

Experts and representatives of Johns Hopkins University, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, George Washington University and Northwell Health, also said they were not aware of evidence suggesting that the virus had changed.

“The suggestion by the Italian doctor is potentially dangerous as it gives false reassurance based on no evidence,” said Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University.

“It’s a highly transmittable and highly contagious disease. We need to be as on guard as ever,” Wen said.

Michael Ryan, Executive Director, WHO Health Emergencies, said “We need to be exceptionally careful not to create a sense that all of a sudden, the virus by its own volition has now decided to be less pathogenic. That is not the case at all.”

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US Surgeon General Concerned About Coronavirus Outbreaks From George Floyd Protests

The US Surgeon General, Dr. Jerome Adams, said to expect new outbreaks of Coronavirus following the George Floyd protests in a recent interview with Politico.

While many protesters have worn masks and some have distributed hand sanitizer, it has been nearly impossible to social distance as hundreds and sometimes thousands of people have gathered to protest police brutality in the US over the past six days.

Adams said,

“I remain concerned about the public health consequences both of individual and institutional racism (and) people out protesting in a way that is harmful to themselves and to their communities, based on the way the disease spreads, there is every reason to expect that we will see new clusters and potentially new outbreaks moving forward.”

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India’s Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Exceed 200,000

According to CNN, India has confirmed 8,909 cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours — the most in a single day since the pandemic began — pushing the nationwide total to 207,615, the country’s Ministry of Health and Welfare said.

More than 5,800 people have died in the country after contracting the virus, the ministry said.

India is the seventh country to pass the 200,000 confirmed case threshold, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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Oklahoma State Linebacker Says He Tested Positive For COVID-19 After Attending A Protest

An Oklahoma State linebacker, Amen Ogbongbemiga, has revealed in a tweet that he tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a protest and he has asked other protestors to take care of themselves when they go out in these uncertain times.

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Active Coronavirus Cases in Italy Drop Below 40,000

The number of active coronavirus cases in Italy has dropped to 39,893, a decrease of 1,474 since Monday, the country’s Civil Protection Agency said on Tuesday.

There have been 318 more patients diagnosed with Covid-19, bringing the total number of cases, including deaths and recoveries, to 233,515, CNN reports.

At least 55 more people have died with the virus, raising the total number of fatalities to 33,530.

There are 408 people with coronavirus currently in intensive care, 16 fewer than on Monday.

The number of people who recovered from coronavirus is now 160,092, an increase of 1,737 people since Monday.

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