Reopening of worship centres in Ekiti State has been postponed by the state Government to August 14, from the earlier scheduled date of July 17.
In a statement issued in Ado Ekiti, on Friday, as monitred by Today.ng, Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, the state Commissioner for Health, Mojisola, said the state government took the new decision because religious leaders of worship centres could not meet the conditions set for reopening of churches and mosques in Ekiti state.
Earlier, on Thursday, the leadership of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), reputedly told newsmen that it had no capacity yet to comply with stipulated protocols of COVID-19 protocols as a conditions precedent for the reopening of worship centres by the state government.
In a statement credited to Yaqubu Sanni, the representative of the NSCIA, he said mosques in the state could not meet the conditions set by the government, describing the time within to respond as too short to be complied with.
He said the conditions stipulated include the provisions of Covid-19 facilities like infra-red thermometers, sanitizers, face masks, hand washing facilities and maintenance of social distancing, among others requirements.
The state commissioner also said, “The latest communique of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is indicative of the fact that worship centres are not yet ready to comply with conditions stipulated as guidelines set out by the government for reopening of worship centres."
Mojisola, therefore, said in view of the lack of readiness of the state religious centres, the state government have no option than to shift the reopening of churches and mosques, centres "till August 14, 2020, to give the worship centres enough time to meet the prescribed conditions for the reopening.”
The state Health Commissioner advised worship centres to adhere strictly to the Ekiti State's Environmental Health and Sanitation Law when fumigating religous centres, which is one of the prerequisites for their reopening.
She remarked that owing to the vulnerability of children and those in the old age bracket, people between the age brackets of 1 -12 and those of 65 and above were also exempted from attending any congregational programme in any religious centre in the state.
Mrs Yaya-Kolade added that, “churches are only permitted to hold their programmes once in a week and should last for just two hours.”
It will be recalled that services in worship centres including Mosques and Churches had been suspended since March following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
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