As part of efforts to ensure the wellbeing of Nigerians, the Federal Government has advised Nigerians above the age of 55 to stay away from places of worship.
This advice came as part of the guidelines released by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 for religious centres to resume activities.
The PTF National Coordinator, Sani Aliyu, during a briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, 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.
Worshippers, in a bid to ensure they do not contract the disease, were also told to sanitise their hands, use face masks, avoid handshakes, and temperature checks before entry at worship centres.
Aliu, however, stressed that the responsibility for enforcement of the guidelines rests on religious leaders and state governments.