The Lagos State Government on Tuesday, June 16, 2020 announced the suspension of the its planned reopening of mosques and churches in the state.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu made this known in Lagos at the 15th update on the management of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
Sanwo-Olu said the state government resolved to suspend reopening of religious centres after close monitoring of COVID-19 situation in the state.
”Dear Lagosians, in the most recent guidelines, which we issued on the gradual easing of the lockdown, based on the advice of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, I noted that we would shortly be permitting the restricted opening of religious houses.
”This is on the condition of strict compliance with detailed guidelines issued by the Lagos State Safety Commission.
”We have been closely monitoring the situation since then, and have now concluded that we cannot proceed with any form of re-opening for places of worship in Lagos State, until further notice.
”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 experts.
”So, let me say this again, 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, people of Lagos State.
”Therefore, until further notice, all places of worship in Lagos State will remain closed. Social and events centres, and social clubs, will also remain closed, for now,” he said.
According to him, the state is 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,” the governor said.
He said that decisions to use face masks anytime one was out of the house, to avoid non-essential travel, to stay at home when one don’t have any business being outside.
“To wash or sanitise hands regularly – were the simple, but necessary steps that would save and protect everyone,” the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state government would continue to do everything in its power to safeguard the health and wellbeing of people.
“This can only be effective when people act responsibly, and do not behave in a manner that undermined the public health guidelines and puts the society at risk.
”We will, as always, continue to keep you informed and updated on the decisions that are taken for the public health and safety of all of us.
”One of the most important tasks that we face as a government is to carefully and responsibly balance the competing considerations of life and livelihood.
”One of the most important tasks before you as citizens is to abide by the decisions that have been taken for the good of all of us – even when it is not easy to do so,” he said.
The COVID-19 Incident Commander said that, as at midnight of June 15, Lagos State had recorded a total of 7,319 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
He said that of this number, 1,137 had fully recovered and been discharged, while 82 had sadly died, leaving 6,100 active cases under management in the state.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state, therefore, continued to be the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, with about 44 per cent of the total number of confirmed cases nationwide.
He said the steady increase in number of confirmed cases was by no means unexpected, considering that the infection was now very much in midst of the state, hence, the more the test, the more the numbers of positive cases that would emerge.
”The uplifting news is that, based on the statistics emerging from Lagos State, more than 90 per cent of people who tested positive will go on to fully recover under supervision, and be discharged,” he said.
By Florence Onuegbu