From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Following the rising case of the second wave of COVID-19 across the country, Benue state government on Thursday placed a ban on all celebrations, religious programmes, activities, picnics and social gatherings during the yuletide celebrations to check the spread of the disease in the state.

The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mrs. Ngunan Addingi and his counterpart in the Health Ministry, Dr. Joseph Mgbea who disclosed this at a press briefing in Makurdi said government has also directed that church services be restricted to one hour with limited number of worshippers.

The Information Commissioner who read out the new directive from State Action Committee on COVID-19 said the Action Committee had already met with religious leaders and agreed that COVID-19 protocols of regular hand washing/sanitizing and personal distancing must be strictly observed, monitored and implemented in all religious gatherings.

“Also, all churches and mosques activities must carry half the capacity of the churches and mosques at each service and anyone that flouts the directive would be sanctioned accordingly.

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“The state government also ordered the closure of all drinking spots and restaurants but granted the operators of such outlets the opportunity to offer only take-away services.

“All schools in the state have also been directed not to resume before the January 18, 2021,” the Commissioner added.

Also speaking, the Health Commissioner, Dr. Ngbea urged all those above 50 years to routinely go for medical attention whenever they come down with fever or cough for early detection and treatment of the disease.

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