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Covid-19: Reopening places of worship suspended indefinite in Lagos

By Oluwaseun Sonde

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Lagos State Government has decided to suspend plan for reopening places of worship until further notice due to steady increase in number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, as Lagos continues to be the epicenter of the pandemic in Nigeria with about 44% of the total number of confirmed cases nationwide.

The Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu disclosed this on Tuesday at the Press Briefing on COVID-19, he said with the condition of strict compliance with detailed guidelines issued by the Lagos State Safety Commission. “We have now concluded that we cannot proceed with any form of reopening for places of worship in Lagos State, until further notice.

“This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, it is simply in line with our ongoing evaluation of evolving scenarios regarding the course of the infection in Lagos State and the corresponding public health advisory guidelines issued by the experts. So, let me say this again, we are now hereby suspending, with immediate effect, the plan to re-open religious houses and places of worship in Lagos State, until further notice”, he said.

He added that his administration will continue to monitor the situation closely, and continue to base the decision-making on data modelling; as well as on the responsibility government need to act in a manner that ensures the protection of all people of Lagos State. “Therefore, until further notice, all places of worship in Lagos State will remain closed. Social and events centers, and social clubs, will also remain closed, for now.

“Let me make this clear, that we are now fully in the phase of personal responsibility, regarding this pandemic. This means that, while the Government maintains its responsibility to take protective decisions for the common good, what will ultimately save us all and defeat this virus are the sensible personal decisions that we take on a daily basis”, he said.

He noted that Lagosians should use masks anytime you are out of your house, avoid non-essential travel, stay at home when you don’t have any business being outside, wash or sanitize your hands regularly. “These are the simple but necessary steps that will save and protect us all.

“As a Government we will continue to do everything in our power to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the people, but that can only be effective when the people themselves act responsibly, and do not behave in a manner that undermines public health guidelines and puts the society at risk”.

He further said his administration will, as always, continue to keep Lagosians informed and updated on the decisions that are taken for the public health and safety of all of them. “One of the most important tasks that we face as a government is to carefully and responsibly balance the competing considerations of life and livelihood, and one of the most important tasks before you as citizens is to abide by the decisions that have been taken for the good of all of us, even when it is not easy to do so”.

He expressed gratitude to all those at the front-lines of the response to this pandemic, in the public and private sectors. “Our medical workers, Rapid Response Teams, support personnel like call center workers, drivers, cleaners, and others, monitoring teams at the State and Local Government level, and all our security agencies”.

As at midnight yesterday, June 15, 2020, Lagos State had recorded a total of 7,319 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Of this number, 1,137 have fully recovered and been discharged, while 82 have sadly died, leaving 6,100 active cases under management in the State.

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