The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria has now reached 10,819 with only 3,239 cases discharged so far and 314 deaths recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory. On the 2nd of June 2020, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control announced on its official website that 241 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in the country. No new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours. The 241 new cases are reported from 14 states – Lagos(142), Oyo(15), FCT(13), Kano(12), Edo(11), Delta(10), Kaduna(9), Rivers(9), Borno(8),Jigawa(4), Gombe(3), Plateau(3), Osun(1), Bauchi(1) Below is a table showing the breakdown of cases by state: Globally, Since 31 December 2019 and as of 2 June 2020, 6 245 352 cases of COVID-19 (in accordance with the applied case definitions and testing strategies in the affected countries) have been reported, including 376 427 deaths. Relatively, Lagos State Government has said that in view of the prevailing rise in the number of Coronavirus cases, Churches, Mosques, and other worship centres may remain shut in the state.
The move became necessary following an unresolved disagreement on protocols and guidelines between government and religious leaders.
Recall that the Federal Government had on Monday, June 1, lifted the ban on mosques and churches in the country, based on guidelines and protocols agreed with state governments. Commissioner for Home Affairs, Anofiu Elegushi, made the remark on Tuesday while answering questions from newsmen, at a ministerial press briefing commemorating the first year in office of Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, held in Ikeja. Elegushi said the possibility of reopening Churches and Mosques in the state had been ruled out. According to him, ‘’Even before the pronouncement by Federal Government, we have been having series of meetings with the religious leaders, we even have one with safety Commission. Looking at the possibility of reopening of religious houses. ‘’We also had one with the leaders of the two faith and I want to tell you categorically that at that meeting, possibility of reopening religious houses was ruled out totally. ‘’They claimed that they cannot take such responsibility of ensuring that only 20 or 50 people are praying behind them.
Like an Imam said he doesn’t know what is going on at back immediately he is leading a prayer. He said if more than 20 or 50 people are staying at his back he is not going to take responsibility for their presence. ‘’So in the meeting, we ruled out in totality the issue of reopening the religious houses until we have a clear coast for us to do so. The Federal Government mentioned it, but it never ruled out the state in achieving that pronouncement, so all states will have to look at possibility of doing so in their respective states. ‘’We all know Lagos is still having more figures “So definitely that will speak to our decision. But the governor of the state will come out with further directives from that directive. We will call the two faith together and discuss the pronouncement and I can assure you that they themselves will tell us not to do it.’’
Meanwhile, the Federal Government directed the “restrictive opening” of worship centres but with a caveat that relevant containment protocols against the Covid-19 be respected in line with the agreement reached between the Presidential Taskforce PTF on Covid-19 and the state goverments. The PTF which disclosed this on Monday during its daily briefing also announced the second phase of its eased lockdown which would be in place for four weeks. The initial six-week eased lockdown would end by midnight of Monday, but the Presidential Taskforce PTF on Covid-19 said the pandemic is still very potent as Nigeria has not reached the peak of infection.
The new phase of the lockdown also places a ban on interstate movement, gatherings with more than 20 people among others. While it said the states can relax the restrictions placed on religious houses, the PTF, however, reviewed the 8pm to 6pm curfew imposed on the country to now take place between 10pm and 4am. It said since the transmission has gotten to the community level, and that it is expected that states and local governments now drive the process in their areas of responsibility.
The PTF also announced the full opening of banks and the financial services sector but stated that schools remained closed until medical experts give the nod for reopening. It added that the aviation industry is taken steps to see how domestic flights can commence as from June 21.