The Ondo State government on Wednesday cancelled Cross Over Vigils across the state and postponed the resumption of primary and secondary schools to Monday, 18th January 2021.
The Chairman of the Ondo State Interministerial Committee on Coronavirus and the Vice-Chancellor, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi made this known at a press briefing in Akure, the state capital.
According to Prof. Fatusi, no church service organised in respect of the new year celebration must exceed 10pm until further notice.
While emphasizing that the committee has had extensive interaction with various stakeholders, physically and virtually, on the need to take proactive measures against the second wave of COVID-19, he maintained that the state is working assiduously to ensure it records no substantial case during the second wave of the pandemic.
He said, “The federal government has stipulated that schools be closed till January 18. The inter-ministerial committee decided that events, as regards the pandemic, should be watched. So, we want to observe and ensure that there is no active transmission within our system.
“Primary and secondary schools will not be resuming on January 4th, they will be resuming by the 18th of January. That’s the decision regarding the schools.
“On the issue of religious services, note that there is a national curfew in place, and the state is bound by the principles of that curfew.
“Therefore, churches and mosques are not permitted in line with that curfew to hold any service beyond 10:00 pm.
“Vigils are still strictly forbidden on any day until further notice. Churches and other religious services must operate at 50% capacity and adhere to all measures that we have put in place for prevention. The same goes for event centres, they must comply with these principles. Our people must celebrate responsibly and celebrate safely.”
Prof. Fatusi added that markets shall continue operations but with heightened enforcement of COVID-19 precautionary measures while night clubs and relaxation spots must not operate beyond 10pm.
While imploring people to pay due attention and observe the precautionary measures put in place to safeguard them, persons 60 years of age or with existing ailment were advised to remain indoors and disengage from joining any social gathering.
Fatusi also noted that by January 2021 the state will begin strict enforcement of the law that guides against the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases in the state, stating that the law provides for three months imprisonment or payment of N20,000 fine or both for offenders.
On his part, the Acting Commissioner for Health and Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Jibayo Adeyeye, said that states must support the federal government’s determination to curb the spread of the pandemic, as such it is a collective fight that requires the input of everyone, domestically and corporately.