On Saturday, September 19, 2020, the Executive Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, during a briefing in the state gave a green light for the reopening of worship centres in the state as the lockdown continues to ease. Sanwo-Olu noted that mosques are now free to conduct their five times daily prayers, while churches are equally free to hold weekly services.
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It will be recalled that on Friday, August 7, 2020, the governor permitted the operation of mosques and churches for only Friday and Sunday worship days, but has now made all weekdays available for fellowship. However, the governor warned that safety health protocols released by the government must be adhered to strictly.
‘As regards our places of worship, we are now also permitting the mosques to resume their five times daily prayers; and in the case of churches, they are now also permitted to resume their mid-week services. We must not forget that the Coronavirus pandemic is still very much with us, and we must therefore strive to prioritise the safety of all our children, teachers, parents, and the entire society.’
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Since March 2020, worship centres in one of the country’s most populated states had been shut to help in the containment of COVID-19. Information disclosed by the governor on Friday, September 18, 2020, revealed that nearly 100,000 tests have been conducted in the state which has the highest number of cases in Nigeria. Of the tests carried out, a total of 18,854 cases were confirmed. About 15,598 cases have recovered while 592 are currently active cases in the community, and 207 deaths registered so far. The governor went further to urge residents of the state not to let their guard down as regards safety measures because the virus is still very much present despite the massive decline in the number of cases in the state.
‘It is however interesting to note that we have also recorded a dramatic decline in the number of Covid-19 related deaths at our facilities….The Lagos State Government, like the Federal Government, is committed to continuing the maintenance of a fine balance between the safety of lives and the sustenance of livelihoods. We will continue to make adjustments as required, but the gradual resumption of social, educational, and economic activity must never be taken as an excuse to let down our guard against the pandemic.’
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