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PTF did not make recommendations for people to return to places of worship – Aliyu
BARELY 24 hours after the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the reopening of places of worship, the PTF backtracked by saying it never recommended that worshipers should return to worship centres.
The President had in the wake of the outbreak of the pandemic banned public gathering of more than 20 people including in religious places as part of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
But Sani Aliyu, National Coordinator of the PTF disclosed in Abuja on Tuesday at the daily media briefing that the Task Force did not make recommendations for Nigerians to return to places of worship.
While noting that the number of confirmed cases in the country have been rising, he cautioned that worshipers should rather stay at home for their safety.
“There is no doubt that COVID-19 is still around. There is no doubt that it is safer to stay at home and there is no doubt that it safer for you to worship at home,” Aliyu said.
“The PTF is providing safety advisories in the event that you need to fulfil your spiritual need and you cannot do it at home but we are not making recommendations for people to go to places of worship.”
Aliyu, in addition, stressed that the Committee was only providing recommendations to enable worshipers to practice their religion safely, noting that it is better to worship at home.
“…COVID-19 has not gone away. You only need to look at the numbers. We are in the exponential phase of the illness.
“We have move as a country to third place in Africa and because of our population, we could also move to the second or the first. So, now is the time to continue to take precautionary measures. It is not time to relax,” he added.
Boss Mustapha, Chairman, PTF had on Monday announced the suspension of the ban on worship centres and the restriction placed on public gatherings.
He said public gatherings below 20 could converge but the safety guidelines provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) should be strictly adhered to.