Churches to remain closed in Lagos untill further notice–Sanwo-Olu
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has suspended indefinitely planned reopening of religious worship centres in the state following steady increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state which has remained the epi- centre.
Sanwo-Olu, announced this on Tuesday, while giving the 15 update on COVID-19 situation report at the Lagos House, Marina.
According to the governor, the measure has become necessary to prevent the situation from getting out of hands line with the ongoing evaluation of evolving scenarios regarding the course of the infection in Lagos State.
Sanwo-Olu stated, “As at midnight yesterday, June 15, 2020, Lagos State had recorded a total of 7,319 confirmed cases of Covid-19. Of this number, 1,137 have fully recovered and been discharged, while 82 have sadly died, leaving 6,100 active cases under management in the State.
“Our dear State therefore continues to be the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in Nigeria, with about 44 per cent of the total number of confirmed cases nationwide.
“Let me again say that the steady increase in number of confirmed cases is by no means unexpected. Considering that the infection is now very much in our midst, the more we test, the more the number of positive cases that will emerge.
“The uplifting news is that, based on the statistics emerging from Lagos State, more than 90 per rcent of the people who test positive will go on to fully recover under supervision, and be discharged.
“Dear Lagosians, in the most recent guidelines which we issued on the gradual easing of the lockdown, based on the advice of the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19, I noted that we would shortly be permitting the restricted opening of religious houses, on the condition of strict compliance with detailed guidelines issued by the Lagos State Safety Commission.
“We have been closely monitoring the situation since then, and have now concluded that we cannot proceed with any form of re-opening for places of worship in Lagos State, until further notice.
“This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, it is simply in line with our ongoing evaluation of evolving scenarios regarding the course of the infection in Lagos State and the corresponding public health advisory guidelines issued by the experts.
“We are now hereby suspending, with immediate effect, the plan to re-open religious houses and places of worship in Lagos State, until further notice.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and continue to base our decision-making on data modeling; as well as on the responsibility we have to act in a manner that ensures the protection of all o you the people of Lagos State.
“Therefore, until further notice, all places of worship in Lagos State will remain closed. Social and events centers, and social clubs, will also remain closed, for now.”
The governor noted that the state is now fully in the phase of personal responsibility, regarding the pandemic.
“This means that, while the Government maintains its responsibility to take protective decisions for the common good, what will ultimately save us all and defeat this virus are the sensible personal decisions that we take on a daily basis.
“Decisions to use masks anytime you are out of your house, to avoid non-essential travel, to stay at home when we don’t have any business being outside, to wash or sanitize our hands regularly – these are the simple but necessary steps that will save and protect us all,” Sanwo-Olu stated.
He said as a government his administration would continue to do everything within its power to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the people, but that could only be effective when the people themselves act responsibly, and do not behave in a manner that undermines public health guidelines and puts the society at risk.
Sanwo-Olu continued, “We will, as always, continue to keep you informed and updated on the decisions that are taken for the public health and safety of all of us.
“One of the most important tasks that we face as a government is to carefully and responsibly balance the competing considerations of life and livelihood, and one of the most important tasks before you as citizens is to abide by the decisions that have been taken for the good of all of us – even when it is not easy to do so.”
The governor, however, expressed gratitude to all those at the frontlines of the response to this pandemic in the public and private sectors.
“Thank you also to everyone who has taken it upon themselves to be a whistle-blower, and report violations of our directives.
“We encourage people to speak up and report on our hotlines: 0901-051- 3197; 0901-051-3198; 0901-051-3199. As always, strict confidentiality of all reports is guaranteed,” Sanwo-Olu assured.
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