Nigeria’s Lagos state has rolled back its decision to partially reopen places of worship due to a recent spike in coronavirus cases, a top official confirmed on Tuesday.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said authorities were closely monitoring the situation and “have now concluded that we cannot proceed with any form of reopening for places of worship in until further notice.”
“We are now, hereby, suspending, with immediate effect, the plan to reopen religious houses and places of worship in Lagos until further notice,” he said at a media briefing.
Earlier this month, Nigerian authorities said they would allow religious activities and reopen places of worship, which were closed across the country in March.
Sanwo-Olu said the decision was taken in view of the evolving virus transmission scenario and safety guidelines issued by experts.
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and continue to base our decision-making on data modeling, as well as on the responsibility we have to act in a manner that ensures the protection of all Lagos residents,” the governor added.
He urged citizens to continue observing coronavirus safety measures such as wearing masks, avoiding non-essential travel, and staying at home.
Lagos state is a commercial hub of Nigeria, particularly due to its capital city of the same name, which is the most populous city in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Lagos is a major financial center for all of Africa and houses one of the largest and busiest seaports on the continent.
The state has been hit hard in Nigeria’s COVID-19 outbreak, accounting for over 40% of the country’s total cases.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, 7,461 of Nigeria’s 17,148 confirmed cases have been reported in Lagos state.
The West African country of over 200 million people has seen 455 coronavirus deaths and 5,623 recoveries to date.
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