As state governments reopen worship centres this weekend, the Federal Government has threatened to review the relaxation of the restriction placed on churches and mosques, if worshippers disregard its guidelines.
The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said this on Thursday at the task force press conference in Abuja.
He also lamented that some Nigerians, who tested positive for the virus, refused to go into isolation.
In the guidelines, the task force advises vulnerable people including those with conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer as well as people that are above 55 years to worship at home.
On Thursday, Mustapha said the task force would continue to explain the guidelines it issued to worship centres and other public places.
On the reopening of churches and mosques, he stated, “As we approach the weekend, we remind the public to be aware of the guidelines set for restricted opening of places of worship. National guidelines have been shared with the states and we expect that protocols will be agreed with religious leaders. Compliance is important so as to avoid unwanted consequences that put the lives of people at risk of contracting COVID-19. We urge utmost caution at all times.
“The PTF will continue to monitor the overall compliance to the easing of restriction as well as evolution of the outbreak. However, we will not hesitate to review as we progress, should the situation warrant, to avoid preventable risks of transmission.”
Mustapha restated that the World Health Organization had resumed the clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine, which it suspended on May 25.
COVID-19 Nigerians rejecting isolation – SGF
Calling for the cooperation of all Nigerians, the SGF stated, “We have received reports about citizens refusing to help with contact tracing as well as going into isolation after testing positive. It is in the interest of everybody that contacts are traced so as to slow down the spread.
“It is also in our interest to go into isolation facilities for close monitoring. A number of fatalities have been recorded due to change in the condition of patients while staying outside the isolation facilities.”
FG worries over fleeing COVID-19 patients
On his part, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said the Federal Government was disturbed by COVID-19 patients, who were fleeing isolation centres. This, he said, had worsened the transmission of the virus in communities.
The health minister said government had problems in trying to convince some COVID-19 positive people that they had the virus.