The Federal Government, on Tuesday, advised Nigerians who are 55 years and above to stay away from worship places as they fall within COVID- 19 vulnerable category.
This was one of the key guideline in the advisory for the opening of churches and mosques released by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
The task force also advised those with health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, HIV, among others, to also avoid worship places.
The PTF National Coordinator, Dr. Aliyu Sani, while reeling out the guidelines directed religious centres to keep records of attendees to aid contact tracing in the case of virus spread.
“We are strongly advising vulnerable individuals such as those with underlying conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, HIV, cancer and those above the age of 55 years to please stay at home and consider remote participation or non-contact attendance.
“When we look at the death rate for persons who have died from COVID-19 in Nigeria, the case fatality rate; more than half of those that died were above the age of 50.
“Secondly, the case fatality rate if you are above the age of 50, is 17 per cent. If you are above the age of 55, it is 18 per cent. It is almost a one in five chances of dying if you catch COVID-19 and you fall within that group.
“Worshippers should be reminded not to attend in person if experiencing common symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough and shortness of breath or have had close contact with an infected person in the last 14 days.
“All worshippers noted to have temperature or are symptomatic should be turned back and not allowed admission.
“Places of worship should ideally keep up to date record of their staff including contact details and if possible, a record of attendees of church services for instance or a even small mosque to enable contact tracing in the event that somebody comes up positive.
“Considering the dangers posed by the pandemic, we strongly recommend that religious visits to homes by religious clerics should be discouraged,” Aliyu said.