TB Joshua

Says all visitors must any go through mandatory 7 days isolation plus testing

By Chioma Obinna

Ahead of the burial of the founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Prophet Temitope Joshua, officials of the Lagos State Government weekend inspected facilities at the Church as part of efforts to prevent COVID-19 and ensure safety and prevention protocols are complied with during the burial.

The visit may not be unconnected with the fact that the burial may have in attendance people from across the world.

A press statement from the State Ministry of Health stated that the team was led by the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, and the Director-General of the Lagos State Safety Commission, Mr. Lanre Mojola and that any visitor coming into the country has to go through the mandatory seven days of isolation plus testing before they can participate in the burial activities.

Speaking shortly after the inspection with the church officials, Abayomi said the inspection insisted that the facility inspection was part of efforts to save the State and Nigeria the third wave as well as prevent possible importation of the new deadly strains of COVID into Lagos and Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Prophet TB Joshua to be buried in Church premises July 9 —SCOAN

Noting that the Late Prophet was a prominent person with a large congregation and followers from around the world, he said the funeral rites would expectedly attract people from within and outside Nigeria who will deem it fit to come to pay their last respect to the clergy.

“The Lagos State Government considers the funeral activities at SCOAN an important event enough to ensure strict compliance to COVID safety protocols to prevent the importation, transmission or spread of the new deadly strains of COVID infection to the State or country.”

He said the state government has directed that all support be given to SCOAN to host the funeral programme.  to limit any possibilities of the introduction of foreign COVID variants among the congregation and by extension to the community.

“On behalf of the Lagos State Government, we want to offer our deep condolences to the family of the prophet and members of the congregation. In these very precarious times that we are in, with a global pandemic that is evolving dynamically; what we now know is that there are different strains of the virus circulating around the world, and Lagos State has a very strong third wave prevention strategy.

“The likely cause of a third wave is going to be an importation from visitors who are infected with the virus, so we are particularly careful about working with the Synagogue to make sure that we have a collaboration that will reduce the opportunity to zero of us either importing a virus or even allowing someone who is positive to interact with the community.

“So we have had series of engagements with the officials and executive of SCOAN, we are also in touch with the Federal Government; the Presidential Steering Committee and the Federal Ministry of Health,

“And the Incident Commander, Mr. Governor has said that this a priority event and we have to ensure that we give SCOAN all the support it requires to make sure that the series of planned events for the funeral scheduled between the 5th of July to the 11th of July are performed under the strictness guidelines to limit any possibilities of introduction of foreign COVID variants amongst the congregation or the movement of the virus in such an environment that would make transmission easier”.

“So, we’ve engaged with several stakeholders, we are looking at the airport, we are looking at the land borders, we are looking at events preceding the five or seven days of the funeral, we are looking at the funeral activities itself, we have a detailed account of the programme, we are putting some guidelines in place.

“Any visitor coming into the country has to go through the mandatory seven days of isolation plus testing before they can participate in any of the activities. We’ve inspected all the accommodation, we’ve looked at the auditorium and we’ve calculated how to completely eliminate the chance and the risk of infectious transmission”

Abayomi assured that those areas would be strengthened before and during the funeral activities. He added that biosecurity and safety experts will also be on the ground to work with the local organising committee to monitor and ensure the safety of attendees.

“In collaboration with the Lagos State Safety Commission and the Biosecurity Unit of the Ministry of Health, we’ve seen some areas that needs strengthening, we’ve been observing these for some days now and we are strengthening the protocols, so that as events are leading up to the seven days and during the seven days, we will have marshals on the ground, we will have biosecurity experts on ground, will continuously monitor the situation and work with SCOAN to make sure we can keep this place safe and keep the congregation safe and keep Lagosians safe”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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