Lagos churches, mosques must provide hand sanitisers — Sanwo-Olu

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Benjamin Omoike

Churches and mosques in Lagos State are to provide hand sanitisers and peg their services at no more than a maximum of one hour, according to a set of rules guiding the reopening of worship centres in a fortnight, according to the governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

He gave the conditions while addressing journalists on the State’s guidelines and protocols for the second phase of the gradual easing of C0VID-19 lockdown, at Lagos House, Marina, on Thursday.

With him was the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat.

According to the Governor, mosques are to reopen from the 19th of June while churches take their turn on June 21st.

The governor directed all worship centers to 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, availability of hand sanitisers at entry and exit points in all high contact locations including restrooms.

Other measures worship centers must abide by, according to him, include temperature checks, use of face masks, social distancing, among others.

“We strongly discourage all close contacts including shaking of hands, hugging, using of prayer mats, musical organs, microphones etc.

“The capacity of the facility should be limited to allow for physical distancing of at least two meters between persons.

“Facilities should consider the use of cloth or surface markings to guide distancing and people from the same household should be encouraged to stay together,” the governor stated.

Governor Sanwo-Olu said responsibility for enforcement would be with the leadership, church or mosque committees and supported by local authorities including state governments.

For churches, the governor said each service should be for a maximum of an hour with an interval of 30 minutes in between services to allow time for disinfection, while mosques may open 15 minutes before and 10 minutes after prayers. The total time for Friday prayers should not exceed an hour.

He said: “Islamiya schools, Sunday schools, night vigils, and children classes are to remain suspended. Worshippers should be encouraged to sign up for preferred worship and make the option of virtual service an option.

“There should be no gathering either or after worship and business outlets within the premises should remain closed.

“We are strongly advising vulnerable people with underlying conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases to please stay at home for now.”

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