• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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COVID-19: Worship centres in Kwara to open June 5

Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq

In line with the Federal Government’s advice and the positions of religious umbrella bodies in Kwara, the State Government has said that worship centres may reopen from Friday June 5th on the condition that they satisfy certain criteria already agreed on with various religious umbrella bodies in the state.

The government, however, warned that the concession for churches and mosques to reopen does not mean that the state has flattened the curve of transmission of COVID-19 pandemic.

Kayode Alabi, Deputy Governor and Chairman of Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, stated this while briefing journalists late Wednesday in Ilorin the state capital.

According to Alabi, the decision came hours after the Committee held a marathon meeting with the leadership of the Muslim and Christian communities, including the Jama’atu Nasrul Islam (JNI) and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

Alabi said: “We are definitely not out of the woods as cases continue to rise especially because of violation of travel restrictions.

“It is preferred that worship centres should remain shut until it is clear that the curve of transmission has been flattened

“Worship centres shall be organised (by the respective head of the congregation) in such a way that one attendant is at least one metre away from the next.

“Each worship centre shall make provisions for hand washing or hand sanitisers, and infrared thermometer.

“Wearing of face masks shall be mandatory for all worshippers and there shall be no hand shaking or hugging among worshippers.

“Children remain restricted from worship centres. People above 65 or persons with underlying health conditions are urged to stay away from worship centres.

“Muslims should perform ablution from their own houses. Ablution spots are not allowed for now to avoid the spread of the virus.

“Muslim women are to stay away from mosques, as suggested by the leadership of the Muslim community in the state.

“Each worship centre is to dedicate a few minutes before service or prayers to educate attendants about COVID-19 and its dangers.

“Adequate ventilation is to be ensured at each worship centre
and Government’s RRT shall conduct random visit to worship centres to take samples and do temperature checks.

“Government shall hold affected religious leaders responsible for non-compliance with all COVID-19-related safety measures in their worship centres.

“Government demands full compliance with all protocols as failure to do so is a huge drain on public resources.

“The leadership of religious communities agreed that any worship centre that violates these provisions would be shut down and its leadership strictly held accountable.”