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Get Familiar with the Guidelines Towards the Reopening of Churches + Other #COVID19 Updates

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Total cases of coronavirus infections in Nigeria now over 10,000

Nigeria has recorded 307 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total cases to 10,162. This was stated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Sunday night.

The agency noted that 3007 patients have been discharged upon recovery while 287 associated deaths have been recorded. 188 cases were recorded in Lagos, 44 in FCT, 19 in Ogun, 14 in Kaduna, 12 in Oyo, 9 in Bayelsa, 5 in Gombe, 3 in Kano, 3 in Delta, 2 in Imo, 2 in Rivers, 2 in Niger, 2 in Bauchi, 1 in Plateau, and 1in Kwara state.


CAN issues guidelines for the reopening of churches

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has issued draft guidelines for the reopening of churches in the country. This is contained in a statement signed by CAN President, Samson Ayokunle.

The statement says:

  • Churches should disinfect their premises first before they are reopened for services.
  • Churches should provide alcoholic sanitizers, temperature readers, soap and water in their Premises to be supervised by medical professionals in the Church.
  • Every worshipper must either use soap to wash their hands or apply sanitizers.
  • The temperature of every worshipper must be taken before admission into the church and people with a high temperature should not be allowed into the church but be advised to go and see their doctors.
  • Every worshipper must wear a facemask.
  • Social distancing should be observed in the sitting arrangement with the one-meter gap between two worshippers.
  • One and a half-hour service is enough for a start.
  • There should be a gap of 25 or 30 minutes between one service and another where there are multiple services to avoid the crowd.
  • Churches can make use of classrooms and multipurpose halls for services where available, especially in big churches in order to accommodate more worshippers at a go. TV circuit and speakers can be used for those who are not inside the main auditorium.
  • Handshaking and hugging should be avoided before, during and after the service.
  • Prayers should be offered to God for a speedy end of COVID-19 and quick recovery of all that are afflicted by the pandemic. Prayers should also be offered for those frontline workers for divine protection.
  • CAN in each state and local government should constitute a committee together with law enforcement agencies in their area to enforce full compliance. Such civilian compliance officials should be given backing by the governments to apprehend those who contravene the worship regulations and hand them over to law enforcement agents.
  • Churches observing Holy Communion service should use a separate cup for each participant.


Ekiti State government eases lockdown

Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, on Sunday announced shifting of the lockdown in the state to Saturdays and Sundays effective from June 1. He also gave hope that markets, schools & place of worship will be reopened soon after the consultations with stakeholders of the different areas.

The statement signed by the governor states that residents of the state will now have free movement for their daily activities from Monday to Friday between six in the morning and eight in the evening. Civil servants on Grade Level 8 and above will resume duty, while those on Grade Level 7 and below are to remain at home till further notice.

Read the statement below:


President Buhari and PTF delegation meet in Abuja

On Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari received a briefing from members of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 at his residence at the State House, Abuja.

The Chairman of the Task Force and SGF, Boss Mustapha led the delegation to the presidential villa. Mustapha briefing journalists after the meeting at the Presidential Villa said the task force had made recommendations to the President, Punch reports.

According to what he told newsmen, states will now manage the pandemic, with coordination by the Federal Government. Responding to a question on states reopening worship centres said the issue was discussed at the meeting. He said:

That is part of what we have considered in its totality. We await Mr President’s decision on that. Once I receive his approval, going forward, as to certain recommendations that we have put in place, we will see how that happens. The issue of easing up, you know we were in the first phase and we had an extension of two weeks for the first phase. The next phase should be the second phase and along with that, we came with a lot of recommendations which we expect Mr President to consider.

I can assure you of one thing: the ownership of the next phase will be the responsibility of the states under national supervision and coordination because we have gone into community transmission. Where are the communities? The communities are in the states. So, the ownership of the next phase will be that of the states, the local governments, the traditional institutions, the religious leaders at the different levels of our communities. That is where the problem is.

Like we have kept saying, 20 local governments (areas) out of 744 accounts for 60 per cent of confirmed cases in Nigeria today. So, where are these 20 local governments? They are in the communities. It means that we have reached the epitome of community transmission, so we must get the communities involved.

The SGF also said the PTF had reviewed the issues of places of worship, schools and businesses, saying “we have made the appropriate recommendations.”

When asked if the economy would be opened soon, the PTF chairman said:

We have started, even in the first phase and the extension that came with it. The essential part of the economy was opened up by way of allowing agricultural production and people who produce fertiliser. The oil and gas industry was never closed for one day. Haulage, refining and prospecting continued. Some parts of the financial sector were opened.

After we receive the approval of Mr President tonight or tomorrow (Monday) morning, we will now know which (other) segment of the economy is allowed to open.


India evacuates 312 citizens from Nigeria

The Indian government on Sunday commenced the evacuation of its citizens stranded in Nigeria as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a tweet by the High Commission of India in Abuja, the repatriation exercise was conducted in the early hours of Sunday with the airlifting of 312 Indian nationals. The Commission revealed that the aircraft conveying the evacuees departed the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

It noted that the flight, operated by a Nigerian airline Air Peace, was the first indigenous airline to fly directly to India. The Indian authorities appreciated the Nigerian government for its support in ensuring that the first phase of the evacuation was successful.

The Commission’s tweet read.

Repatriation of Indian nationals from Nigeria began today with the Lagos-Kochi Air Peace flight. With 312 passengers, it is also the first-ever Nigerian airline to fly directly to India. Thank @MEAIndia @MoCA_GoI @PIBHomeAffairs @NigeriaGov and team @india_nigeria for support.


Lagos set to reopen economy, kicks off a register-to-open initiative

The Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola has disclosed that the Commission is set to begin the Register-To-Open initiative of the State Government.

Speaking recently at a Press Conference organised to inform the general public about the State Government’s plan towards the gradual reopening of the economy, Mojola declared that in line with the directives of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the guidelines towards reopening of the economy, especially Religious and Social centres have been developed and consultations are ongoing with all Stakeholders in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

He noted that upon registration, a verification process will be carried out to ensure adequate space management is put in place across the various centres to guarantee that social distancing, hygiene and safety measures are observed across all religious and social centres.

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