Lagos State suspends reopening of worship centres due to spike in COVID-19 cases

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The governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has suspended the planned reopening of mosques and churches on June 19 and 21 due to rising cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made the announcement on Tuesday afternoon.

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), reported yesterday that Lagos so far has 7319 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with infections expected to rise in the coming days.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Sanwo-Olu, said backing down on the decision was was “a tough one.”

Sanwo-Olu said since the announcement of June 19 as the date for reopening of religious centres on conditions that they will strictly comply with health guidelines, the state monitored closely the situation and concluded that any form of re-opening could not proceed.

“We are now hereby suspending, with immediate effect, the plan to re-open religious houses and places of worship in Lagos State, until further notice. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and continue to base our decision-making on data modelling; as well as on the responsibility we have to act in a manner that ensures the protection of all of you the people of Lagos State.

“This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, it is simply in line with our ongoing evaluation of evolving scenarios regarding the course of the infection in Lagos State and the corresponding public health advisory guidelines issued by the experts.

“Therefore, until further notice, all places of worship in Lagos State will remain closed. Social and events centers, and social clubs, will also remain closed, for now,” Mr Sanwo-Olu said.

The governor said as of Monday, the stated had recorded 7,319 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection.

Of that number, he said 1,137 “have fully recovered and been discharged, while 82 have died, leaving 6,100 active cases under management in the state”

“Our dear state, therefore, continues to be the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, with about 44 per cent of the total number of confirmed cases nationwide.

“Let me make this clear, that we are now fully in the phase of personal responsibility, regarding this pandemic. This means that, while the Government maintains its responsibility to take protective decisions for the common good, what will ultimately save us all and defeat this virus are the sensible personal decisions that we take on a daily basis,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He further said while the government continues to do everything to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the people, citizens must be responsible.

“Decisions to use masks anytime you are out of your house, to avoid non-essential travel, to stay at home when we don’t have any business being outside, to wash or sanitize our hands regularly – these are the simple but necessary steps that will save and protect us all.”

Sanwo-Olu added that the steady increase in the number of confirmed cases is by no means unexpected, considering that the infection is at a community transmission stage. He said the more tests are done, the more positive cases will emerge.

The governor urged Lagos residents to comport themselves in a responsible manner while the government continues to do what it can to ensure public safety.

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