By Dayo Johnson
ONDO state government has cancelled crossover service by churches across the state ahead of the new year.
It also postponed the resumption of schools in the state to Monday, 18th January 2021
The Chairman, Ondo State Interministerial Committee on Coronavirus and Vice-Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi said in Akure.
Fatusi pointed out that the State was working assiduously to ensure it records no substantial case during the second wave of the pandemic.
According to him, the Committee has had extensive interaction with various stakeholders, physically and virtually, on the need to take proactive measures against the second wave of COVID-19.
He said that ” The federal government has stipulated that schools should be closed till January 18.
“The inter-ministerial committee decided that events, as regards the pandemic, should be watched. So, we want to observe and ensure that there is no active transmission within our system.
“Primary and secondary schools will not be resuming on January 4th, they will be resuming by the 18th of January. That’s the decision regarding the schools.
“On the issue of religious services, note that there is a national curfew in place, and the state is bound by the principles of that curfew.
” Therefore, churches and mosques are not permitted in line with that curfew to hold any service beyond 10:00 pm.
“Vigils are still strictly forbidden on any day until further notice. Churches and other religious services must operate at 50% capacity and adhere to all measures that we have put in place for prevention. The same goes for event centres, they must comply with these principles. Our people must celebrate responsibly and celebrate safely.
Other guidelines according to him include government and business offices shall continue to open, with strict compliance of COVID-19 precautionary measures; markets shall continue operations but with heightened enforcement of COVID-19 precautionary measures; night clubs and relaxation spots must not operate beyond 10p.m; picnics can operate but in open space and adherence to COVID-19 protocols; while anybody above 60 years of age or with existing ailment(s) are strongly advised to remain indoor and disengage from joining any social gathering.
Fatusi said government “will begin to carry out strict monitoring of all these guidelines, likewise, it will continue to interact with religious leaders, markets associations, media, unions and other critical stakeholders in the fight against the pandemic.
” By January 2021 the State will begin strict enforcement of the law that guides against the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in the State, stating that the law provides for three months imprisonment or payment of twenty thousand naira fine or both for offenders.
The Chairman noted that effective mechanism will be put in place for the total enforcement of the law in Ondo State, even though there will be continuous social engagement, public education, among others.
Also speaking, the Health Commissioner, Dr Jibayo Adeyeye, appealed to the media to support the government by seeing war against Coronavirus as corporate responsibility and must do everything to educate, inform and sensitize the public about its dangers.
States across the country he said “must support the federal government’s determination to curb the spread of the pandemic, as such, it is a collective fight that requires the input of everyone, domestically and corporately.