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Lagos reopens churches, mosques as COVID-19 cases decline

It’s cheery news in Lagos State. A period of general decrease in confirmed positive cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been recorded in the State for the second week.

Following the decline in positive cases, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has relaxed some of the lockdown measures taken by the Lagos State Government in response to the spread of the pandemic.

In his 17th briefing on COVID-19 response held at the State House in Marina on Saturday, the governor directed the re-opening of places of worship in the State, starting from August 7 for mosques and August 9 for churches.

The Lagos governor also directed the re-opening of social clubs with registered trustees and recreational centres from August 14, but with the condition that they obtain a provisional safety compliance certificate from the Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC).

Besides, Mr Sanwo-Olu relaxed the public gathering regulation, increasing the permissible capacity from 20 to 50 persons at a given period. Night clubs, entertainment centres and cinemas to remain closed, the governor ordered.

From August 14, restaurants can now resume in-dining services, but at 50 per cent occupancy capacity. Also, safety clearance must be obtained from the Safety Commission before resuming the in-dining services.

In the case of places of worship, only regular services or religious gatherings are permitted. Night Vigils and other non-regular events remain prohibited until further notice.

Also, attendees of over the age of 65 years are strongly discouraged from attending worship centres, the governor said, adding that all worship centres must adhere to face mask guideline.

The governor said the new development followed a careful review of emerging positive events, stressing the decisions to relax the lockdown measures was to create a balance between competing demands of safeguarding lives of Lagos residents and preserving their means of livelihoods.

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Mr Sanwo-Olu said the Lagos state government patterned its response strategy after Mumbai, an India populous city that share similar demographic and climatic conditions with Lagos.

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