Borno Suspends Lockdown Indefinitely, Asks Mosques, Churches To Resume Congregational Gatherings
The Borno State government has suspended the lockdown in the state indefinitely while also lifting the ban it placed on Friday and Sunday congregational prayers due to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Borno, according to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has so far recorded a total of 188 cases of COVID-19.
But a statement posted on the official Facebook page of Governor Babagana Zulum said the state had recorded, “significant progress in the fight against COVID-19 over the last three weeks.”
The statement was signed by the state’s deputy governor and chairman of its COVID-19 response committee, Usman Kadafor.
The state government however announced the restriction of other public gatherings, especially burials and weddings, to a maximum of twenty people, among other new measures.
The committee announced the following resolutions: “The lockdown be suspended indefinitely to study the situation for the time being. However, where the situation escalates, government should revert to status quo.
“The use of facemasks by the public be made mandatory and enforceable.
“Government, traditional rulers, religious leaders, community leaders and opinion leaders should enforce social distancing, especially in public gatherings/worship
“There should be restrictions on public gatherings, especially funeral processions/rights, weddings, naming ceremonies, etc to not more than 20 people,” it said.
The committee noted that, “all medical consultations by pharmacies and patent medicine stores that are related to COVID-19 or similar ailment shall be referred to government hospitals as defaulters of this direcive will be prosecuted. On no account government hospitals should reject any patient whether because of COVID-19 or other ailments.”
It said the state government would study the federal governments’ agreement with health unions and implement it at the state level.
According to the committee, “Henceforth, Jumma’at prayers and five daily prayers shall be observed in all mosques as recommended by the Borno State Council of Ulamas in strict adherence with social distancing and the use of facemasks.
“All Churches shall conduct Church services as recommended by Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Borno Chapter in strict adherence with social distancing and use of facemasks.”
The committee also restated that alcohol and other intoxicating substances remained banned in the state.
The state government also asked civil servants on grade level 1-12 to continue to work from home pending a review of the directive.
The government further said it had adopted the recommendation of the Borno State Council of Ulamas not to permit public gathering for Eid prayers.