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The Lagos State Government has fixed the dates for the reopening of worship centres in Lagos State.
According to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who made the announcement at a press briefing yesterday, Thursday, June 4, mosques will reopen on Friday, June 19, while churches will begin regular services on Sunday, June 21.
The governor, however, restricted religious gatherings to Fridays and Sundays. He added that children below the age of 15 and adults above the age of 65 should be excluded from such gatherings.
“There will now be restricted openings of religious houses based on compliance that we have seen and reviewed with the Safety Commission," the governor stated.
“From 14 days time, precisely on the 19th of June for our Muslim worshippers and from the 21st of June for our Christian worshippers, we will be allowing all of our religious bodies to open at a maximum of 40% of their capacity and we’ll be working with them as being expected by the Lagos State Safety Commission.
“But we know that these places of worship have different sizes but even if your 40% capacity is really so large, you cannot have beyond 500 worshippers at once, and keeping that maximum 40% capacity is really important."
With a total of 5,542 cases, Lagos State has recorded the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases so far and is known as the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Lagos residents fear that the lifting of the ban on religious gatherings will do nothing but increase the number of cases in the state. Health centres and facilities will no longer have the capacity to hold the cases and health workers will be in short supply.
Meanwhile, according to the latest figures published by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), 11,516 cases have been recorded nationwide, with 323 deaths and 3,535 people now recovered.
Nigeria remains the third African country with the highest number of coronavirus cases after South Africa and Egypt.