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CAN, NSCIA submit guidelines for reopening of worship places to PTF

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Director General of NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu PHOTO:Twitter


The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs ( NSCIA) have submitted their various guidelines for the reopening of worship places to the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19.

Sources at the meeting told revealed that both the Christian and Muslims religious leaders met with the PTF and the management of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)yesterday in Abuja during which all parties agreed that it is high time to reopen the worship places adding that the Chairman of PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha acknowledged and appreciated the support and understanding shown by the leadership of CAN and NSCIA since the lockdown started.

Part of the recommendations presented by the umbrella Christian body was that Churches should disinfect their premises first before they are reopened for services while physical distancing should be observed in the sitting arrangement with the one-meter gap between two worshippers.

The Association also provided that churches should hold one hour service for a start even as all Sunday services to end on or at 5:30pm.

The sources revealed that the NSCIA wanted their worship to be held the same hour in accordance with the Qur’anic injunctions while children will not be allowed to take part.

The PTF/NCDC promised to prepare its own recommendations which all will be presented to the President who will decide the accepted ones and present it to the nation in his coming National address on Monday.
The guidelines presented by CAN also provided the following conditions :

There should be a gap of 10 minutes between one service or another where there are multiple services to avoid crowd.

*Churches should provide alcoholic sanitizers, temperature readers, soap and water in their premises to be supervised by medical professionals in the Church.

*Every worshipper must either use soap to wash their hands or apply sanitizers.

*The temperature of every worshipper must be screened before admission into the church and people with the high temperature should be advised to go and see their doctors.

*Every worshipper must wear facemask.

*Churches can make use of classrooms and multipurpose halls for services were available especially in big churches in order to accommodate more worshippers at a go. TV circuit and speakers can be used for those who are not inside the main auditorium.

*Handshaking and hugging should be avoided before, during and after the service.

*Children should worship with their parents.

*Prayers should be offered to God for a speedy end of COVID-19 and quick recovery of all that are afflicted by the pandemic. Prayers should also be offered for those frontline workers for divine protection.

*CAN will constitute a committee together with law enforcement agencies to enforce the full compliance.

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