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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

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UPDATE - COVID-19: We might reopen worship centres shortly — Sanwo-Olu

GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State
GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, yesterday, held a virtual meeting with religious leaders over plans aimed at
reopening the various sectors amid a battle against COVID-19 in the state.

Sanwo-Olu, while giving a ray of hope for reopening of worship houses, however, reeled out fresh guidelines and conditions to be met before the state government would reopen Mosques, Churches and other religious centres for normal activities.

Notable religious leaders, who participated during the virtual meeting, are Pastor W.F. Kumuyi (Deeper Life), Pastor Joseph Obayemi (RCCG), Dr. D.K. Olukoya (MFM), Rev. Mrs. Mercy Ezekiel (CPM), Mrs. Elizabeth Onajobi of WOWICAN, His Eminence Samuel Kanu Uche and other leaders in the five Christian Bloc and CAN Executives.

Also present at the meeting are Dr. Abdulrahman Ahmad (Chief Missioner, Ansaru-deen), Sheik Abdulhakeem Lawal, Imam Abdul Akeem Lawal, Mrs. Egberongbe of FOMWAN, Sheik Uwais, Chief Imams of the various Divisions of the State, MSSN and other top religious leaders in Lagos.

Addressing the religious leaders during the electronic meeting, Sanwo-Olu said:

 “We are reviewing and considering how the phased unlocking will happen.

 If we see a huge level of compliance, then it can happen in the next two to three weeks. If not, it could take a month or two months. It is until we are sure all of these players are ready to conform to our guidelines.”

He urged businesses, religious houses and residents to maintain the status quo while the State works out modalities for full re-opening.

In his remarks, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, in Lagos State, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, commended the Governor for being proactive, dogged and pragmatic in his approach, promising that the Christian leaders in the State will continue to support the efforts of the State Government in sensitising and enlightening their followers on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also speaking on behalf of the Muslim leaders, the Grand Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheik Suleiman Abu-Nolla, described the present period as a time of collective survival when the government and religious leaders must work together to ensure the survival of all.

Directs PHCs to treat asymptomatic COVID-19 patients

Meanwhile, Governor Sanwo-Olu said that plans have been concluded to commence treatment of asymptomatic COVID-19 patients at the Primary Health Care facilities, PHCs, aimed at curbing the community transmission effectively in the state.

The governor gave the directive while giving the update on COVID-19 situation in the state held at Lagos House, Marina.

He said: “It has been two weeks since we commenced a gradual and controlled easing of lockdown instituted to halt the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Lagos remains the epicentre of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria. 

We are seeing and will continue to see a gradual increase in cases, on account of the fact that we have moved into active community-based transmission phase of the outbreak.

“We will, in response to this, continue to aggressively expand and decentralize our testing, tracing and treatment capacities.

“We are also increasing collaboration with the private sector to scale up in various areas: testing, case management, strategic planning, and logistical support. Even though we have also felt the impact of the global shortage of reagents, I am still happy to note that we have been able to ramp up supply and ensure that these very critical components of the testing process are always available.

“As a result, we will be seeing increased testing as we go into the weeks ahead.”

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