Covid-19: NCDC releases fresh rules for worship centres

By Dominion Ugwu
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) yesterday released new guidelines for the opening of churches and mosques.
The Eighth-Points-Guideline was released as a result of the ease of the lockdown by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 which has also permitted religious gatherings.
NCDC said the new guideline for places of worship in Nigeria is to ensure safe gatherings and prevent exposure to COVID-19 infection in religious settings.
The agency gave eight rules for religious places to observe as they reopen activities to the public.
These are as follow: There should be no entry without face masks. All attendees and religious leaders must wear a face mask; People who are sick should not go to places of worship. There should be a temperature screening on entry; Hand washing facilities and hand sanitizers should be provided at points of entries and strategic points; Attendance to religious settings should not exceed one third of sitting capacity; Religious centres should be clearly marked such that people sit and maintain two metres distance from each other; There should be no form of direct contact. Practices such as hand shake as peace signs are discouraged; Practice that requires sharing of materials should be limited. For example ablution should be performed at home; Religious centres should be disinfected routinely, before and after service.
NCDC said the new guideline is developed following the review of the movement restrictions by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
The PTF on COVID-19 had on June 2 announced the relaxation of the previous ban on religious gatherings, allowing faith groups to meet while adhering strictly to public health and social distancing.
It could be recalled that Nigeria had placed a ban on social and religious gatherings to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Dr. Chike Iheakwuazu, DG NCDC

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