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Coronavirus: Governor Abiodun suspends carnivals during Christmas celebrations

The Ogun State Government has suspended street carnival during the yuletide and New Year celebrations, as well as crowded cross-over night service, parties and similar gatherings in the State

Penpushing reports that, Governor Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday gave the order in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, stressing that this became necessary  amidst an increase in coronavirus infections across the nation.

The Governor also directed all civil servants and other government workers in the State after a meeting between the state government and religious leaders from the League of Imams and the Christian Association of Nigeria as well as community leaders to proceed on Christmas and New Year holiday from Thursday, December 24.

Penpushing further reports that, he explained that the order was part of the measures and guidelines for public health as the state prepares for a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and also directed that all Schools in the State are to remain closed until January 18, 2021, while all bars, nightclubs, pubs and event centres, recreational centres in the state have also been closed down indefinitely.

The Governor equally directed that the all markets are to open strictly between 8am and 4pm while maintaining social distancing and observing all coronavirus protocols, including the use of face mask, provision of hand sanitizer and/or hand-washing equipment at every strategic point within their malls, shops, business premises .

Penpushing also reports that, Abiodun directed that religious and worship centres should not exceed 50 per cent of their capacity, emphasizing that all services must also be in compliance with all coronavirus protocols.

“There should be no gatherings of more than 50 people at any event or ceremonies, such as conferences, congresses, office events, concerts, seminars, sporting activities, cross-over nights, end of year parties, weddings, naming, birthdays, anniversaries, street carnivals, etc until further notice”.

The Governor in the same vein, called on motorcycle (Okada riders), tricycle, bus, car, taxi and other transport operators not to carry passengers above 50 percent of their capacity, in compliance with social distancing rules.

 Penpushing reports that, the statement said the Governor while urging citizens to celebrate in moderation, wished the people a Merry Christmas and prosperous 2021, saying they should take personal responsibilities and stay within their residences and not embark on travels within and outside the State to ensure they neither transmit nor contract the virus.

‘For religious centres, the League of Imams and the Christian leaders adopted the earlier positions taken in the wake of COVID-19 earlier in the year such as: All  worship activities must be observed by not more than 50percent of capacity

*All congregants must wear their face masks appropriately (that is, No facemask, No entry There should be reliable sources of running water, WorshipØ centres should be adequately cleaned and disinfected before and after services

* Household bleach solution should be adequately prepared for disinfectation. There should be adequate provision and supervision of multiple Veronica Buckets for handwashing (fully automated handwashing machines are preferable)

*There should be provision of alcohol-based sanitiser which must be used before and at intervals of every 20 minutes as well as after service.WorshipØ centre should provide adequate toilet facilities with water. It is paramount for Muslims to perform ablution at home and go to Mosque with their personal praying mats

*Qualified Medical Practitioners or trained personnels should check the temperature of worshippers with infrared thermometer before allowing them to enter worship centres. There should be adequate medical support forØ sick persons

*All services on Friday/Sunday and other week days must adhere strictly to COVID-19 Guideline. There should be pre-designated standing position/sitting points to ensure not less than 2 meter distancing

*The duration of religious services should not be more than one hour. In addition, same duration must be observed at intervals, where there are multiple services. The use of Air-conditioners should be discouraged while worship centres should be well ventilated with the use of fans

*There should not be any handshake/hugs by worshippers. Proper awareness of the susceptibility of the aged and people with signs of ill-health should be adequately created among worshippers at all times

*Constant sensitisation of COVID-19 and its dangers should be included in sermon and goodwill messages. ProvisionØ of isolation rooms is mandatory in all worship centres or facilities Religious services and events should be recorded with digital camera for record purposes

*Government will not hesitate to impose severe sanctions (including, but not limited to lockdown) on any Worship Centre that fails to comply with the laid down guidelines .No social gathering should exceed 200 people while 2 meters social distancing must be observed in such gathering, DisposableØ elements should be used during Holy Communion instead of sharing cups

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