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JUST IN: NCDC releases new guidelines for reopening of churches, mosques

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has released new guidelines for the reopening of religious centers across the country.

In a statement posted on its website on Saturday, the NCDC asked all religious centers to fumigate their auditoriums, car parks and other buildings before reopening.

The health agency advised all churches and mosques to wipe all surfaces with a disinfecting agent in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.

It also urged that all religious centers must provide soap, running water, and hand sanitizers for all their members at various entry points. The center advised all religious centers to open windows and doors to enable airflow during services.

The NCDC also said children and people aged 60 and above should stay at home and worship for the time being. It also asked all religious centers to closed public toilets and sales outlets during services.

The center also askes members to stop shaking of hands, hugging and all physical contacts for the time being, and always wear their masks to religious centers.

“To help educate on COVID-19, it is recommended for places of worship to have preventive messages from NCDC posted at entry points and around places of worship.

“Holy communion should be packaged in disposable wraps. Drinking water points, public toilets and sales outlets must be closed for now,” the NCDC said.

The NCDC added that ablution should be done at home and discouraged the sharing of kettles and any personal items.

It said, “Religious leaders must maintain two metres when praying or counselling and avoid body contact with members. Places of worship should be free of carpets and rugs to allow easy disinfection of the floor.

“Places of worship must open only between 5am and 8pm. Choristers are to go home with their robes; hijabs are not to be shared; attendance in every service should not exceed one-third of sitting capacity of the auditorium to enable physical distancing. All other members should join the service virtually.”

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