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COVID-19: Stay away congregational worship places, FG advises those above 55

The Federal Government has advised those above the age of 55 to stay away from congregational worships.

This was contained in the guidelines released by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for religious centres to resume activities.

During a briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, PTF National Coordinator, Sani Aliyu, said, “In view of the widespread community transmission of COVID-19, it is important that places of worship operate in a safe manner to ensure the protection of public health, avoid outbreaks and safeguard the health of the vulnerable members of the population.

“To this end, the guidelines have been developed as a minimum set of standards that have to be complied with for places of worship to safely operate nationwide.

“They have been developed by the PTF in liaison with the leadership of religious communities in the country and should be used as a baseline for states to allow these activities.

“It is important to note that due to the nature of religious congregations, places of worship are particularly recognised to have a major potential for spreading COVID-19 infections amongst worshippers.

“Volunteers should be limited to exact numbers needed and none of the volunteers should have underlying medical conditions or be above the age of 55 years.

“No social gatherings before or after worship.

“Those with underlying conditions or above 55 are strongly advised to stay at home and explore virtual participation.

“Windows should be left open during services and preferably use open-air facility as much as possible.”

Others include that worshippers must sanitise their hands, use face masks, avoid handshakes, and temperature checks be done before entry at worship centres.

The national coordinator stressed that the responsibility for enforcement of the guidelines rests on religious leaders and state governments.

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