By Ariwodola Idowu
Governor Kayode Fayemi Ekiti said worship centres in Ekiti State may resume for services from Friday, July 17, while the first phase of school reopening will commence on July 20.
The Ekiti Governor announced this on Tuesday night during a state-wide broadcast.
This, the governor said, would be in line with the agreement reached by the state government with leaders of religious organisations in the state.
Fayemi, who was speaking, on the next stage in the State’s COVID-19 Response, said arrangements were in top gear to ensure that pupils and students return to schools from July 20 as recommended by stakeholders in the education sector.
He said the two largest markets in Ado Ekiti, the Oja Oba and Bisi Markets, hitherto shut, would now have their lock-up shops opened, but this would be subject to compliance with protocols.
He, however, stressed that street trading, makeshift stalls, kiosks and open display of wares in the said markets remained banned.
The governor said that the state government had taken a N2.5 billion Life Insurance policy of N2 million each for 500 frontline medical personnel involved in COVID-19 assignment in the state in addition to the prompt payment of COVID-19 Special Allowances to qualified cadres.
Fayemi said security agencies and Ministry of Justice had been directed to henceforth arrest and prosecute any person caught in public places without wearing the face mask appropriately covering the nose, mouth and chin.
On conditions for public worship resumption from Friday, July 17, with Jumat service by Muslims and Sunday service by Christians on July 19, Fayemi said social distancing of six feet must be observed and hand washing as well as use of face masks would be compulsory.
The governor said that maximum capacity for each building should be determined with the six feet social distancing principle, adding that the number must be displayed outside the building.
He said that a Special Task Force would go round to assess the level of compliance and issue a Certificate of Readiness before worship centres could reopen.
Fayemi said that any erring worship centre would be shut down and the cleric prosecuted.
He said that school resumption from July 20 would be in phases, starting with students in terminal classes (SS3, JSS3 and Primary 6) to enable them prepare for their examinations, while other classes would be gradually absorbed as schools meet all requirements to accommodate them.
The governor said that a Certificate of Readiness showing that a particular school has adhered to all conditions required for school reopening would first be issued before any school could reopen.
According to him, government would ensure that water, sanitizer, soap and other facilities are in place.