The Lagos State Government has constituted a Monitoring and Compliance Committee on COVID-19 Protocols to monitor worship centres across the State.
This is sequel to the announcement of the re-opening of worship centres in Lagos State by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu,
Speaking at the Committee’s meeting on Thursday, Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi stated that the government was satisfied with the level of commitment and preparedness of religious leaders for the re-opening of worship centres in the State.
The Commissioner noted that the partial re-opening of churches and mosques in the State was a pilot scheme that is predicated on the strict observance of protocols of monitoring, compliance and enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines by worship centres, adding that the monitoring of worship centres was a special project as due diligence and care were needed to ensure compliance of the protocols.
Elegushi implored the religious leaders to take ownership of the compliance directives by educating and enlightening their congregants to abide by the safety measures as listed by the Lagos state Government.
He said “the religious leaders must continue to educate their worshippers to comply with laid down protocols as a committee on monitoring and compliance consisting of representatives the Muslim and Christian religions, officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and then Lagos State Safety Commission will monitor and enforce compliance in any worship centres where needed.
Elegushi explained that pending the full opening of worship centres, only Jumat lectures and prayers is permitted for the Muslims while only Saturday and Sunday services as the case may be is allowed for Christians, stressing that all services must not exceed two hours with 50% attendance.
The Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola stated that the State Government was in process of organizing a train-the-trainer programme on observance of COVID-19 among other programmes, adding that a register of worshippers entering and exiting worship centres must be compiled for the purpose of contact tracing in case of any discovery of infected or affected people.
Mojola further disclosed that the monitoring committee was in partnership with the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Agency (LNSA), the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Nigeria Police Force and other stakeholders to full ensure compliance.
He added that the exercise would commenced on Friday, 7th of August, 2020 with the monitoring of Jumat Services, as visits would be made to some Mosques within the metropolis.
Among the COVID- 19 Protocols for the re-opening of worship centres in the State are that only 50% of worshippers is permitted at a time; services should not exceed two hours; worship Centres should be decontaminated before the first service of the day and after the last service for the day, while wiping of surfaces should be carried out after each service; no Vigil is allowed in places of worship for now; washing of hands with soap and water is mandatory before entry into place of worship; the use of face mask and hand sanitizers is compulsory in and observance of physical and social distancing horizontally and vertically of two (2) meters should be ensured.