The Ogun Government has suspended the weekend lockdown in the state and ordered the reopening of worship centres.
Governor Dapo Abiodun disclosed this in an update about the state’s effort at fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
“After thorough deliberation, consideration and resolution, we decided to reopen the worship centres with effect from Friday 14th August 2020 as indicated in my last address,” the governor said.
“This decision was made in line with an agreement reached by the committee set up to develop guidelines for reopening of the religious centres.”
He said worship centres must adhere to certain safety protocols like ensuring all congregant wears face masks, provision of adequate running water, and contamination of the worship places before and after service among others.
“The duration of religious services should not be more than one and a half hours,” he explained. “In addition, the same duration of one and a half hours must be observed as intervals, where there are multiple services.”
For worship centres with over 200 worshippers, in a given service, the governor explained that they “must seek further clearance with the State Government.”
“Muslims are advised to perform ablution at home & go to Mosque with their personal praying mats,” he said, adding that, the “administration of Holy Communion should be devoid of sharing of any item and must follow COVID-19 protocols.”
While calling on religious leaders to cooperate with the state government, Governor Dapo warned that there would be sanctions for any erring worship centre which defies the guidelines issued by his administration.
“Let me say that our Task Force is already on the ground and is moving about to ensure compliance.
“And, if perchance we discover that any of our religious centres is not complying or adhering to the laid down protocols, we will not hesitate to close down the centre,” he warned.
As of Thursday, August 13th 2020, Ogun State has 1,521 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 1,288 deaths and 24 recoveries, according to data from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).