Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State on Wednesday ordered partial reopening of worship centres in the state for two weeks.
Oyetola, at a meeting held with Christian and Muslim religious leaders in Osogbo, said the decision to reopen worship centres partially was in response to the leaders’ request.
He also said the reopening was due to the Federal Government’s resolve to lift the ban on religious activities.
The governor said the state government had prepared guidelines that must be followed to forestall possible spread of the Coronavirus as a result of the reopening of worship centres.
Oyetola said further actions by the government would be determined by the effect of compliance level to the guidelines by churches and mosques during the two-week period.
He also said only regular church services of not more than one hour and maximum of two services would be allowed.
He said: “Jumat service, including khutbah (sermon) and prayers, must not exceed 20 minutes.
“Vulnerable individuals such as those from age 65 and above and people with underlying ailments such as tuberculosis and diabetes were to continue worshipping at their respective homes.”
Oyetola also directed that all church and mosque premises be fumigated to ensure that the environment are free of virus and other infectious diseases.
He said: “Worshipers are to keep reasonable space in churches and mosques and no worship centre must be filled to capacity during any service and solat respectively.
“Attendance at any service or solat must not exceed one-third capacity of the church or mosque.
“There should be provision of washing facilities or sanitisers for worshipers before entering the churches and mosques.
“Also, use of face mask is important, sharing of worship devices such as microphones and other musical gadgets should be discouraged.
“Water and food distribution during service should not be allowed.
“Worshippers must avoid exchange of banters and social distancing must be strictly observed.
“Windows in churches and mosques should be opened during worship for ventilation.
“Signage and notices should be placed at strategic locations to remind worshippers of best hygiene practices to be observed.”
Oyetola also mandated churches and mosques to provide thermometers to check temperature of worshippers, adding that whoever has high temperature should not be allowed into the worship centres.
The governor added that vigils and children activities remain suspended, and that worship centres with support of security operatives should set up task force to enforce compliance with measures put in place by the government.
He appreciated the leadership of both religions for their cooperation and understanding since the lockdown began in the state.
“We seek your continued cooperation so that we can together save our people from this deadly outbreak,” the governor said.