On Saturday, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control released recommendations for the reopening of religious centers throughout the country, calling for children and people aged 60 and over to for the time being avoid worship centres, reports The PUNCH.
It also said that churches and mosques must shut down public toilets and sales outlets during services.
This comes after the lifting of the ban on religious and other public gatherings by the Federal Government to check COVID-19 spread.
Until reopening, the NCDC said that religious houses should fumigate their auditoriums, car parks and other buildings by wiping off all surfaces with a disinfectant, according to the guidance posted on its website.
The centre also said during services, windows and doors must be opened to enable airflow while adequate provision should be made for soap, running water and hand sanitisers at entry points.
“There should be no entry without face masks; provide disposable face masks where practicable.
“To help educate on COVID-19, it is recommended for places of worship to have preventive messages from NCDC posted at entry points and around places of worship.
“Holy communion should be packaged in disposable wraps. Drinking water points, public toilets and sales outlets must be closed for now,” the NCDC said.
It added that ablution should be done at home and discouraged the sharing of kettles and any personal items.
It said, “Religious leaders must maintain two metres when praying or counselling and avoid body contact with members. Places of worship should be free of carpets and rugs to allow easy disinfection of the floor.
“Places of worship must open only between 5am and 8pm. Choristers are to go home with their robes; hijabs are not to be shared; attendance in every service should not exceed one-third of sitting capacity of the auditorium to enable physical distancing. All other members should join the service virtually.”
Furthermore, the NCDC discouraged shaking of hands, hugging and all physical contacts for the time being and discouraged worshippers from 60 years old and above, or those with underlying medical conditions, to stay at home.
Children are also discouraged from attending worship services.