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Benue government approves reopening of religious centres

Benue state government has approved the reopening of churches and mosques for religious worships two months after they were shut following the outbreak of the novel COVID-19 pandemic.

The government however directed that worships in the churches and mosques must be staggered in such a manner that would allow room for social distancing.

This was part of the decisions reached Thursday in Makurdi at the end of a joint meeting of the Benue State Executive Council and the State Action Committee on COVID-19 presided over by Governor Samuel Ortom.

The government also ordered the partial reopening of markets and noted that the issue of school resumption would be reviewed in the next 14 days.

It also directed workers on grade levels one to 12 who were asked to stay at home about two months ago to resume work on June 1, 2020 but advised that they always wear face masks and maintain social distancing as they go to work.

Reeling out decisions reached at the end of the meeting, Governor Samuel Ortom also announced an adjustment in the timing of the prevailing dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed on the state about two months ago.

According to him, “the prevailing curfew in the State has been reviewed to now last between the hours of 8 pm to 6 am daily, until further notice.

“Churches and Mosques with effect from today Thursday, May 21, 2020, are to hold staggered worship sessions. This implies that a Church or Mosque which before now held two worship sessions should henceforth conduct four sessions in a day.

“Street trading is encouraged but strictly obeying social distancing protocol on COVID-19. Markets will be partially opened to enable traders to access their shops while the fumigation of markets will be carried out periodically.

“Inter-state movement remains prohibited, except those on essential services. While we encourage Benue people to intensify their farming activities in the face of the looming economic recession,” he added.

VANGUARD