A combined team from key agencies of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Thursday ahead of the crossover night visited some mega churches in nation’s capital city.
The team went on a sensitization campaign with the fear that uncontrolled crowds during New Year’s Eve will add to the already rising number of COVID-19 cases in Abuja.
Given the nature of the Omicron strain of COVID-19, which is already wreaking havoc in the FCT, and the known overflowing history of worship centers during the crossover, the Administration said it was imperative to urged religious groups to follow the suggested health rules.
Comrade Ikharo Attah, the FCT Minister’s Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection, and Enforcement, said the decision to visit Mega Churches with large congregations and overcrowding tendencies was made to avoid a situation that could jeopardize stakeholders’ investments and efforts to contain the pandemic.
During the crossover night worship, Attah urged church leaders to implement procedures that will promote total compliance with both non-pharmaceutical intervention and other health regimens.
He also cautioned that the FCT Administration would hold church and religious leaders accountable if there was a breach that resulted in a health emergency in their jurisdictions.
Dr. Abduralman Sadiq, Director of FCTA’s Public Health Department, said the awareness visit was necessary due to the rising incidence of COVID-19 cases in Abuja.
Sadiq bemoaned the fact that, despite the precautions taken, the pandemic was still wreaking havoc on the country.
He said COVID-19 Isolation centres in Abuja, which had previously been empty, were becoming overcrowded as a result of the rise, he revealed that one fatality was documented on Thursday in one of the treatment centers.
Meanwhile the Chairman, FCT Chapter, Christian Association of Nigeria,( CAN) Rev. Samson Jonah, who was physically present when the team visited the First Baptist Church, Area 11, Garki, said the Association had directed all Churches to limit gathering in their worship centres to half its capacity.
Jonah also hinted that the Christian Community in Abuja will continue to support government’s efforts, and will also intensify prayers for the elimination of the diseases.
The Churches visited include, The First Baptist Church, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Region 10 Headquarters, Wuse 2, and the Glory Dome of Dunamis International Gospel.