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PTF releases further guidelines for reopening of worship places

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Advises worship centers to keep a record of staff, worshippers, for contact tracing purposes, turn back persons identified with high temperature

The Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 has reeled out more guidelines that should be observed for the reopening of worship places across the country.

According to the guideline, Churches and Mosques are expected to keep a record of staff and worshippers for contact tracing purposes while persons identified with high temperature after temperature check should be turned back.

Speaking at the daily Press conference yesterday in Abuja, National Coordinator of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr Sani observed that at this stage, it is still better for people to do their worship at home than go to worship centers because the country is in the exponential phase of the infection.

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He said that Churches and mosques with high number of worshippers can divide their services into two or three depending on the number to ensure physical distancing, and should have break of at least 30mins between the services to allow worshippers wash their hands or to disinfect the centers.

Aliyu noted that worshippers are advised not to touch each other in a manner such as hugging, shaking, or kissing among others.

He said, “Mosques are to open 20mins before Prayers and close 20mins after prayers. No Islamiya schools. Prayer sections should be staggered.Worship centers should have different entry and exit points. No social gatherings before or after services.Business outlets at worship centers should remain closed”

According to him, “Facilities should be structured in a way that physical distancing is observed even as people from the same household should be encouraged to stay together.

” Church/mosque volunteers(ushers, choir, security etc.) that have underlying illnesses should not be allowed to serve while the time for worship services should not be more than one hour. The elderly above 55 are advised to observe their worship services at home. Churches/Mosques should improve their environmental hygiene. Windows should be left open during services, as it’s more dangerous to hold services in enclosed places. Open-air services are preferable. There should be frequent cleaning of Centers. Surfaces should be cleaned with diluted bleach. Worshippers with COVID19 symptoms should not go to places of worship”.

The Coordinator reiterated that places of worship must comply with all non-pharmaceutical measures such as mandatory use of face mask by worshippers, hand washing spots at the entrances, hand sanitizers with at least Sixty percent alcohol content and mandatory temperature checks.

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