COVID-19: Why we’ll Shut down Churches, Mosques —Akeredolu

By: Ade Adeleke

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu today lifted ban on religious gatherings, warning that any church or mosque that violates its guidelines on the reopening order will be shut down.

According to Akeredolu, while churches will only operate on Sunday, Mosques will also be opened only on Friday.

Addressing his weekly press briefing at Government’s House Ground, Akeredolu, stressed that the premises of Churches and mosques must be deconterminated before and after the services.

According to the governor, churches are only allowed to open for service on Sunday while Friday alone will be for the Muslims to mosques

Akeredolu who directed that other weekly services should be put on hold explained that face masks must be properly worn by the all worshippers

The governor also noted that not more than three people must be found on a pew or row alongside provision of running water with soap and sanitizer.

Akeredolu who expressed hope that covid-19 would face out with divine intervention however warned that any church or mosque found violating the rules would be closed down indefinitely.

He said the state has also recorded second death of coronavirus.

He said, “in the case of churches, not more than three people are expected to sit on a pew, while the equivalent applies to the sitting positions in the mosques and other worship centres as well. ”

Governor Akeredolu, who spoke on the latest development of the Covid-19 pandemic in the state, said water and soap must be provided at all entry points into the centres or halls of worship, while all worshipers must be made to wash their hands in the standard pattern approved and practised since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Governor further said Hand sanitizers must be provided and used by each worshipper at every entry point to the centres and at other convenient points within the premises, adding that all worshippers and workers inside the centres and within the premises must wear face masks properly for the duration of the service.

According to the Governor, Churches, Mosques and other religious centres must regularly decontaminate and sanitise the premises, facilities and equipment before and after the services.

Akeredolu said the government has placed appropriate machinery in motion to monitor and ensure that the guidelines are implemented to the letter.

He said cases of infringement, disregard or wilful neglect of these extant regulations will be considered as serious threat to the society and will be sanctioned.

He said, “let me be more direct. Any Church, Mosque or worship centre which fails to obey the simple rule will be shut down immediately.”

The Governor explained that out of the twenty-four confirmed cases recorded in the state, nineteen cases have been discharged after treatment, two death recorded while there are only three cases on admission receiving treatment at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Akure.

He said “we have four more cases added to the 20 cases announced last week Monday, making a total of 24 cases. Among the additional four, only one was a case of interstate importation. It was a case of an individual of northern Nigeria extraction who travelled from Sokoto state to Ondo state.

“The second, third and fourth cases were those of community transmission. While the second case was discovered at Oluwatuyi Quarters, Akure and reported by the Federal Medical Centre Annex, Akure, the third case is an official of the Nigerian Correctional Services who is resident in Ijoka road, Akure. His case was reported by the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Akure complex.

“The fourth case was presented to the General Hospital Igbara Oke as a regular patient of flu, fever, cough and other symptoms similar to those of COVID-19.

“He died the same night he was brought to the hospital. Not leaving things to chances, our health workers ensured the corpse was tested for COVID-19 and the result came back positive.

“The corpse has since been buried in his hometown, Iragbiji, Osun State. Apart from contacting Osun State Government accordingly, we have activated a wide line tracing to arrest further infection and possible spread,” Akeredolu said.

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