Religion

COVID-19: Oyo CAN recommends multiple services, face masks, others

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The Oyo State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has recommended multiple services in all churches in the state.

This, it said,  was in order to fulfill the state government’s conditions on reopening of worship houses after the shutdown occasioned by COVID-19.

Speaking with journalists in Ibadan on Thursday, the new Oyo State CAN Chairman, Apostle Joshua Akinyemiju, listed other measures recommended to include use of facemasks and gloves as well as setting up of handwashing points.

He said: “We appreciate the concern of the state government, likewise the efforts of Governor Makinde toward driving the notorious pandemic out of the state.

“While appreciating the governor for allowing churches to worship at 25 per cent capacity, Christians must endeavour to abide by all the government’s guidelines to that effect.

“We should remember that the Bible enjoins us in Hebrew 13:17, to obey those that have the rule over us.

“Now that government has lifted ban on religious centres with few conditions attached, it behoves on us as religious leaders to ensure absolute compliance to protect government from being blamed for its leniency.

“Our recommendation is every worship centre with great number of worshipers should adopt multiple services to enable us observe physical distancing.

” Churches can run more than three services in a day, but hours per service must be reduced.”

Other measures, according to Akinyemiju, include use of face masks by every member throughout the service period and observation of hand washing before entering the church and after the service.

“Alternatively, a pair of hand gloves should be handed to every member before entering the church, and removed after stepping out of the church.

“The gloves must be gathered outside the church and burnt immediately, hand sanitiser is equally good and to be used by every member before and after service.

“It is necessary to add here that there are some churches that won’t find it easy to control crowd; in such situation, we advise that services should be suspended for this moment to save lives of worshipers.

“It is only the living that serves God, special care should be provided for those above 50 years and children below 18 years.

“We shall be updating members as we receive more information from the state government, NCDC and WHO on the novel coronavirus pandemic.

”We pray God Almighty to bestow His mercy upon us and purify our nation and the rest of the world with the blood of Jesus,” Akinyemiju said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Oyo State Government recently announced that churches and mosques could reopen.

It, however, directed that they must operate at not more than 25 per cent capacity to curb the spread of COVID-19.

(
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)

Chidinma Ewunonu-aluko

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