Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Saturday announced that churches and mosques in Lagos State will reopen from August 7, 2020.
Sanwo-Olu said the religious houses would open only once a week for their regular services and will only allow 50 per cent of their capacity, though they can hold multiple services on such designated days. Other weekly services and vigils are still put on hold.
He also advised that those above 65 years of age should not attend services at the places of worship; they should instead stay back at home.
All the worship places are to adhere strictly to all the Covid-19 guidelines, including regular cleaning and disinfection of the worship centres before, during and after every service.
“No face mask, no entry policy should be observed in our religious centres and all religious centres must have sanitizers and emergency numbers must be advertised at the entrance of their worship centres,” the governor said.
The governor said the state has seen a gradual decrease in positivity rate in the last two weeks being the outcome of its response strategy but it still needs to build on successes and close all existing gaps if any.
“Having carefully reviewed the current situation in Lagos, we have taken important decisions in line with the on-going objective of calibrating an effective balance between competing demands for safe guiding lives and enabling livelihood of our people”, this he said has necessitated the announced relaxations.
The governor also increased public gatherings capacity from 20 to 50 people, stressing that all standard preventive and control measures must still be strictly adhered to.
Restaurants are now permitted to have in-dining services with 50 per cent capacity from August 14 and must have permission from the Lagos State Safety Commission to do so while Social Clubs and recreation centers are also allowed to open from August 14; they must be certified by Safety Commission.
They are however to meet the stated conditions and must have applied to the safety commission to be recertified.
But cinemas, night clubs and Arcade remain closed for now. The governor promised that the government will come back there in the course of the month after reviewing the current situation.
The governor promised further palliatives in the coming days for the vulnerable in the society.
He also said “the new development followed a careful review of emerging positive events,” stressing the decisions to relax the lockdown measures was to create a balance between competing demands of safeguarding the lives of the residents and preserving their means of livelihoods.
He said: “Having carefully reviewed the current scenario in Lagos, we have taken some important decisions in line with the ongoing objective of calibrating an effective balance between the competing demands of safeguarding lives and enabling livelihoods.”
He also said Lagos State Government patterned its response strategy “after Mumbai, an India populous city that shares similar demographic and climatic conditions with Lagos,” adding that he “observed that Lagos had recorded similar results and successes with Mumbai in its COVID-19 response.”
Giving update on covid-19 cases in the state, Sanwo-Olu said, in the past five months when the index case was recorded, the state has had 15,150 confirmed positive cases, out of which 10,835 have been treated and discharged with 194 deaths and 1,813 active cases.
He also disclosed that the government has closed the Eti Osa and Agidingbi isolation centres and patients in Agidingbi moved to other centres because the facilities have less patients to contend with now.