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Ondo State government has banned crossover service in churches across the new year.
This was part of a set of restrictions ordered by the state in the wake of increased COVID-19 infection and the possibility of a second wave.
The Chairman, Ondo State Interministerial Committee on Coronavirus and Vice-Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi announced these restrictions in Akure on Wednesday.
Fatusi said the State is working towards flattening the curve of the curve and avoiding a second wave.
He said, “The federal government has stipulated that schools should be closed till January 18.
“The inter-ministerial committee decided that events, as regards the pandemic, should be watched. So, we want to observe and ensure that there is no active transmission within our system.
“Primary and secondary schools will not be resuming on January 4th, they will be resuming by the 18th of January. That’s the decision regarding the schools.
“On the issue of religious services, note that there is a national curfew in place, and the state is bound by the principles of that curfew.
“Therefore, churches and mosques are not permitted in line with that curfew to hold any service beyond 10:00 pm.
“Vigils are still strictly forbidden on any day until further notice. Churches and other religious services must operate at 50% capacity and adhere to all measures that we have put in place for prevention. The same goes for event centres, they must comply with these principles. Our people must celebrate responsibly and celebrate safely.
The government also outlined other guidelines that says nightclubs, bars and relaxation centres should close before 10pm, picnics should only operate in open spaces and anyone above the age of 60 years old or existing ailment was advised to remain indoors.
Fatusi also said, “the government will begin to carry out strict monitoring of all these guidelines, likewise, it will continue to interact with religious leaders, markets associations, media, unions and other critical stakeholders in the fight against the pandemic.
“By January 2021 the State will begin strict enforcement of the law that guides against the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in the State, stating that the law provides for three months imprisonment or payment of twenty thousand naira fine or both for offenders.
This development by the Ondo State government mirrors the steps of other states like Kaduna state, Lagos State, Kwara and others to fatten the curve of a possible COVID-19 second wave and the dangerous effects of the new strain of coronavirus. Ondo State has recorded 1,722 cases of COVID-19 with 1,585 and 39 deaths.
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