COVID-19: FG overrules governors on reopening of worship centres

COVID-19: FG overrules governors on reopening of worship centres

- The presidential task force on COVID-19 has faulted the decision of some governors to permit the reopening of worship centres

- The chairman of the task force, Boss Mustapha, said large gatherings could endanger the health of the elderly and the sick

- Many governors have opened up their states for religious gatherings

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The federal government has faulted the decision of some state governors to permit the reopening of worship centres amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The chairman of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Thursday, May 21 warned that such decisions could have serious health implications, The Nation reports.

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The government noted that the ban on gatherings of more than 20 people remains prohibited. Photo credits: Ministry of information
Source: UGC

He said the ban on gatherings of more than 20 people remained prohibited.

Mustapha pointed out that gatherings of more than 20 people is a breach of the protocols designed to contain the spread of COVID-19.

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He stated that the elderly and the sick could be exposed to health risks during large gatherings.

“Governors are also advised on the decision taken by some of their colleagues to permit large gatherings as such decisions could inadvertently endanger the elderly, the sick and those with underlying factors during such gatherings,” Mustapha stated.

"The strong advisory from the PTF is that large gatherings beyond 20 persons remain prohibited and should be adhered to."

Many governors have opened up their states for religious gatherings.

Recently, Benue state government ordered the reopening of churches and mosques for religious worships some weeks after they were shut over the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Legit.ng reports that the government, however, directed that the churches and mosques must hold staggered worship sessions to allow room for social distancing.

A statement issued by one of Governor Samuel Ortom's aides indicated that this was part of the decisions reached on Thursday, May 21, in Makurdi at the end of a joint meeting of the Benue state Executive Council and the State Action Committee on COVID-19 presided over by the governor.

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The government also ordered the partial reopening of markets and noted that the issue of school resumption would be reviewed in the next 14 days.

Meanwhile, popular Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has warned against the relaxation of lockdown occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic, saying "one single day will come and spoil all the gains."

Speaking in Kaduna on Wednesday, May 20, after a brief discussion with Governor Nasir El-Rufai, the renowned cleric predicted a sudden spike in cases of coronavirus should people be allowed to pray in congregation.

Gumi spoke against the backdrops of a decision by some governors including Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano to relax lockdown so that Muslims can pray during Eid-l-Fitr, an Islamic festival marking the end of Ramadan fasting period.

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