It’s Dangerous to Relax Stay-at-Home Order – Methodist Bishop

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A clergy, Dr. Sunday Onuoha, has warned that Nigeria may lose the gains achieved in the past few weeks in the fight against Coronavirus disease if states relaxed the stay-at-home order in their domains.

The Methodist Church Bishop and Executive Director of Nigeria Interfaith Action Association, who gave the warning on Friday, also cautioned political and religious leaders against throwing caution to the winds in the fight against the pandemic.

The Cleric specifically warned state governors, who directed the relax of the stay-at-home order, to learn from the South Korean experience.

He recalled that the deadly Coronavirus spread like wildfire in South Korea following a crusade held in that country against the warning of relevant authorities.

Onuoha, therefore, underscored the need to sustain the tempo recorded in preventing the spread of the virus.

He noted that there is nothing wrong in congregating because God acknowledges the gathering of men, but emphasised that such gathering should be done in line with laid down directives.

The Bishop, who commended the Federal Government for its efforts at preventing the spread of COVID-19 so far, said actions should be taken against any move to frustrate the feat.

“We cannot just throw away the successes we have achieved in these past weeks in a twinkle of an eye,” he stressed.

Onuoha enjoined the federal and state governments to make food available to the people while the lockdown lasts, noting that people would be ready to comply if their basic needs were met.

The clergy urged Nigerians to maintain physical distancing, wash hands regularly with soap, use hands sanitiser, wear face mask and hand gloves, among other safety measures.

He said that the measures were necessary, especially as the stay-at-home order had been relaxed in some parts of the country.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that as parts of measures to check the spread of coronavirus, many states banned large gatherings and restricted movements.

In spite of the restrictions, the disease has spread to 17 states with 305 confirmed cases, 58 recoveries and seven deaths, a situation that keeps analysts wondering why some states had relaxed the measures ahead of Easter.

Specifically, Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has approved the request of the Christian Association of Nigeria to observe the Easter Sunday worship in various Churches.

Similarly, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has directed that the ban on religious gathering be lifted to allow for normal worship and services.

The Ebonyi State Government has also relaxed the ban on burials by giving those in the state between April 9 and 20 to bury their dead.

Worshippers in the state are expected to attend their normal service only on Sunday for Christians and Friday for Muslims, with effect from April 12.

Similarly, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State directed Muslim faithful to hold Juma’at prayers and Churches to hold Easter service across the state with full congregations.

In Katsina State, Governor Aminu Masari directed that Muslim faithful would be allowed to observe their Juma’at prayers under strict health and security guidelines.

Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has similarly relaxed interstate boundary closure, citing the need to allow the movement of food, drugs and vehicles conveying personnel on essential duty.


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