Lagos govt re-imposes restrictions on worship centres, bans public gatherings over spike in COVID-19 cases

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday re-imposed restrictions on worship centres over spike in COVID-19 cases in the state.

The governor, who gave the directive in a statement titled: “We cannot afford to relax the battle against COVID-19,” asked the worship centres not to hold services for more than two hours.

He added that gathering of worshippers must not exceed 50 percent of the maximum capacity of the venue.

Sanwo-Olu also banned carnivals and street parties in the state.

The government had in September ordered worship centres to resume activities following the reduction in the number of COVID-19 in the state.

The governor said: “Concerts, carnivals and street parties are banned in Lagos State until further notice.

“Night Clubs have not been allowed to open yet. All Night Clubs in Lagos must immediately shut down, until further notice.

“The midnight to 4:00 a.m. curfew imposed by the Federal Government remains in place.

“The protocol of ‘No Mask No Entry’ must be enforced by all public places: Offices, Businesses, Markets, Shops, and so on.

“All Places of worship (Churches, Mosques, etc.) must ensure that no gathering exceeds two hours, and also that no gathering exceeds 50 percent of the maximum capacity of the Venue.

“A minimum of two meters’ distance should be maintained between seated or standing guests.

“All guests and service providers at events MUST wear nose masks/coverings before entry.”

Sanwo-Olu said the restriction was returned because of the “possible” second wave of COVID-19 in the state.

He added: “The Lagos State government has sadly noticed that there is an unfortunate public perception that we have seen the end of the COVID-19 pandemic; that the worst is over. This is absolutely wrong and dangerous.

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“We are getting credible reports that the entertainment industry is planning large gatherings, concerts, street parties, and carnivals, in the spirit of the yuletide. Night clubs have also re-opened in reckless disregard of the existing guidelines, and events centers are operating with huge gatherings without any regard for public health and safety guidelines.

“This same disregard for COVID-19 guidelines is also being observed with places of worship across the state, in both their regular gatherings and the special gatherings organised to commemorate this season.

“Christmas is a commemoration of this supreme act of sacrifice by God. The least we can do in this season is to emulate that spirit of sacrifice, by abiding with difficult but necessary protective guidelines, for the greater good of all of us.”

“As you are all aware, Lagos State is recording an increase in COVID-19 cases in all local governments. This is not peculiar to Lagos alone; the entire country is also seeing an uptick in the numbers of confirmed cases of the COVID-19.

“Of every 100 tests that we now perform, an average of 10 turn out to be positive. This is an increase from the five per hundred recorded in September, but lower than our peak in August which was between 20 and 30 per hundred. This suggests the existence of active community transmission and represents the very likely possibility of the emergence of a second wave in Lagos State.

“This second wave calls for a full re-awakening of caution and precaution. The complacency that crept in over the last few months as a result of our early interventions when cases started to decline from our peak in August, must now give way to an abundance of vigilance.”

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