The government of the state of Ekiti announced new restrictions for the protection of public health after the sharp increase in the cases of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, who on Wednesday night announced new guidelines to combat the second wave of COVID-19, said the move had become necessary to ensure the situation did not spiral out of control.
Fayemi said security agencies were given strict instructions to the working group and law enforcement agents to start aggressively enforcing the new rules in public places.
The latest restrictions affect the worship centers, which were ordered to return to one service on the days of worship on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, in half of the seats of the place of worship.
The governor ordered that schools in the state remain closed until January 18, while vigils, parties and clubbing will be suspended until further notice.
Dr. Fayemi ordered civil servants in grades 12 and below to stay at home until January 18, when they will be ordered to return to their desks.
Government officials, he noted, should discourage face-to-face meetings as much as possible and no government official should be seen in public without wearing protective masks.
According to him, the protocols related to wedding and burial ceremonies are still in force, which stipulate that there should be no crowds in the church auditorium, and burial must be only at the grave.
Supermarkets, event centers, hotel and bar owners, he added, should strictly ensure that social distancing measures are established and respected accordingly.
The Governor said that only half of the total number of seats of the facility can be allowed to participate in any ceremony / program at any one time, and activities should not be longer than 20 hours.
Dr. Fayemi said: “In Ekiti, as here two days ago, we have done a total of 7,890 tests with 405 confirmed cases since the outbreak. We currently have about 30 active cases on treatment at our isolation center.
“One frightening fact about these numbers is that we have recorded about 15 cases out of about 170 tests conducted in the last seven days. This is close to 10 percent of confirmed cases compared to less than 5 percent we had at the start of the pandemic, earlier this year.
“Things were not so bad when we imposed strict restrictions on the state at the beginning of the pandemic outbreak in March. The government is therefore very upset by the increase in numbers and its implications for our fragile health facilities and economic well-being. “
He added: “We understand the importance of this season in our religious life as a nation, however, public health must be given priority over other considerations; therefore, we expect churches to conduct the service in strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols, such as hand washing, use of hand sanitizers, adherence to approved social distance, and allow only half of the church’s seated capacity to participate in the service.
“In addition, the protocols regarding wedding and funeral ceremonies remain in force. There should be no crowds in the church auditorium, and funeral services should only be at the grave.
“Supermarkets, event centers, hotel and bar owners must strictly ensure that measures of social exclusion are established and respected accordingly.
“Only half of the full number of seats in the facility may be allowed to participate in any ceremony / program at any one time, and activities should not exceed 20:00. Partying, clubbing and vigils are suspended indefinitely until further notice.
“To ensure that things do not get out of hand, we have given strict instructions to the working group and law enforcement agents to begin aggressive law enforcement activities in public places, including worship centers, events, markets, supermarkets, bars and hotels. The government will not hesitate to close any plant indefinitely and prosecute operators of any public places, violating protocols, ”he added.