THE Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and Presidential Task Force (PTF) met in Abuja on Tuesday, it was learnt.
The meeting deliberated extensively on guidelines to re-open places of worship, especially in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The parties agreed that it was time for places of worship to reopen, adding that precautionary measures should be followed.
The guidelines, which were agreed upon at the meeting as include:
“Churches should disinfectant their premises before the reopening for services. Churches should provide alcoholic sanitizers, temperature readers, soap and water in their premises to be supervised by medical professionals.
“Every worshipper must either use soap to wash their hands or apply sanitizers. The temperature of every worshipper must be screened before admission into the church and people with high temperature should be advised to see doctors.
“Every worshipper must wear facemask. Social distancing should be observed in the sitting arrangement with one meter gap between two worshippers. It should be one hour service for a start. All Sunday services are to end on at 5:30pm. There should be a gap of 10 minutes between one service or another where there are multiple services to avoid concentration of crowd. Churches can make use of classrooms and multipurpose halls for services where available especially in big churches in order to accommodate more worshippers at a time. TV circuit and speakers can be used for those who are not inside the main auditorium.
“Handshaking and hugging should be avoided before, during and after the service. Children should worship with their parents. Prayers should be offered to God for a speedy end of COVID-19 and quick recovery of all that are afflicted by the pandemic. Prayers should also be offered for those frontline workers for divine protection”.
A source at the meeting said the PTF/NCDC promised to prepare its own recommendations which will be presented to the President for approval and action next week.
The source said in the guidelines the Muslims submitted included that they wanted their worship to be held the same hour according to the Qur’anic injunctions.
They are of the opinion that children will not take part.
Pastor Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant (Media and Communications) to the CAN President Rev. Samson Ayokunle confirmed the meeting, adding that part of the guidelines is that CAN would constitute a committee together with law enforcement agencies to enforce full compliance.