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COVID-19: El-Rufai issues new guidelines for worship centres, others

Says congregational worship should not exceed one hour

Kaduna state Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai has signed a new regulation that mandates all places of worships in the state to enforce facemasks, provide sanitisers and ensure physical distancing as part of new measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The regulation also stressed that the number of worshippers in Mosques and Churches will be capped while congregational worship should not exceed one hour.

A statement issued by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Communications, Muyiwa Adekeye stated that the new regulations also prohibits large gatherings and mandates that businesses must provide thermometers for temperature checks and sanitisers or hand-washing equipment and physical distancing measures within all facilities.

According to the new regulations: “It is mandatory to wear facemasks outside the house. Organisations and individuals that allow people into their premises have the responsibility to enforce the ‘no mask, no entry mandate.’ Facemasks should be worn to cover both the nose and mouth.”

“Transport operators must reduce capacity to not more than two passengers per row and not more than 50% of capacity. Supermarkets and providers of personal services such as hair dressing and barbing salons can remain open, but service providers and customers must use facemasks and limit the number of persons they admit and serve at any time,’’ it stated.

The statement reiterated that while hotels can remain open, their restaurants and bars can offer only room service while event centres, night clubs, gyms and bars and lounges are to closed until further notice.

It restricted restaurants to takeaway services only while stressing that all schools will remain closed until it is deemed safe to reopen.

The state government stressed that its taskforce and other agencies will help enforce the regulations, however, the effectiveness of the measures depends on the exercise of personal responsibility and voluntary compliance of residence and urged for collective action to curb the infections without having to resort to a lockdown.

The statement reminded the public that various stakeholders, including religious leaders, businesses, transporters and market unions had made commitments for continued compliance with Covid-19 protocols prior to the easing of the first lockdown in June 2020.

Civil servants to work from home

Earlier, the Governor had directed civil servants below grade level 14 to work from home starting from Monday 21st December 2020 following increased infection rates of COVID-19 in the state.

El-Rufai in a tweet on Sunday said that the measure was part of the COVID-19 containment strategy announced last week by his administration.

He appealed to all residents to see COVID-19 prevention as a personal responsibility.

“It is mandatory to wear facemask outside the house, organizations and individuals that allow people into their premises have the responsibility to enforce the no mask, no entry mandate, facemask should be worn to cover the nose and mouth,” he said.

Daily Trust reports that the state recorded 179 positive cases as at Saturday, from 639 samples tested and local governments with news cases are: Kaduna north, Birnin Gwari, Kudan, Jema’a, Kajuru, Chikun, Kaduna south, Makarfi, Sabon Gari, Igabi and Zaria.