Be it a welcomed development or a dangerous leap, Lagos has finally bowed to the pressure of the people and reopened all religious centres across the state following two months abstention geared at stemming the spread of the Covid-19 scourge.
The decision, of course, came as a pleasant shock because Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu announced the ban lift on mosques and churches barely seventy-two (72) hours after the state government restrained the ban.
The Lagos state government, in a reaction to the ban lift on worship centres nationwide effective from Monday, June 1, by the federal government through the Covid-19 presidential task force, maintained that the possibility of reopening was totally out of it.
Speaking after the relaxation on Tuesday, June 2, Lagos commissioner of home affairs, Anofiu Elegushi, declared the state would maintain the status quo as per the reopening of churches and mosques.
In his words: “We also had one with the leaders of the two faiths and I want to tell you categorically that at that meeting, the possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out totally.”
But in a subsequent decision, Lagos gave clearance to reopen worship places. This was contained in a state-wide address by the state governor on Thursday, June 4.
"Today, we take further steps in easing some restrictions on public gatherings, and other decisions as we adjust to this reality," Governor Sanwo-Olu announced in what suggested that things are coming back to normal in Lagos.
Lagos alone is fully responsible for 51% of the total confirmed coronavirus cases across the country. This is terrifying enough to shut down the state but life must move on!
Here are the new set of guidelines worshipers and religious leaders are enjoined to follow before proceeding with services.
1. People below the age of 15 years are not allowed at the worships centres “because of how well they walk around, and how they become difficult to hold down".
2. People above 65 years of age are not allowed to come to churches or mosques because their immune system is weak. Besides, they are vulnerable to Covid-19 attacks.
3. Religious bodies will open at a maximum of 40% of their capacity. This will be done by the help of Lagos State Safety Commission (LSC).
4. Worship centres, especially churches with over 500 people congregation will be encouraged to observe more than one service.
5. Services would also be restricted to Fridays and Sundays, thus excluding vigils and mid-week activities.
6. No face mask, No entry' policy throughout the duration of the services.
7. Religious centres should embrace technology and virtual platforms for members and others who choose to continue with this mode of worship.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that students in Lagos state may soon resume academic activities as the state government on Thursday, June 4, said the decision to reopen schools will be taken in two weeks.
The Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, made the disclosure during a press briefing on Thursday.
Coronavirus: Is it time to reopen churches, mosques? | Legit TV