The Ebonyi State Government has granted a partial restoration of religious activities in the state.
The government also relaxed the ban on burials by giving those in the state between April 9 and 20 to burial their dead loved ones.
The commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Uchenna Orji, disclosed this on Tuesday night, after the executive council meeting in Abakaliki.
He said worshippers are expected to attend their normal service only on Sunday for Christians and Friday for Muslims with effect from April 12, 2020.
The service is also expected to start from 8 a.m. and end by 12 noon. Every worshipper is expected to wear a face mask and observe social distancing.
“With effect from Sunday 12th April, 2020, all religious worshippers shall be allowed to have their normal service every Sunday for Christians and Friday for Muslims, from 8am to 12 noon only, provided that:
“Every worshipper must wear a face mask, including handkerchief or head tie.
“The service centre must be provided with hand sanitisers and running water for washing of hands.
“There shall be no religious gatherings other than on Sundays.”
The state government warned that pastors or officiating ministers that fail to enforce these precautionary measures or violates these regulations will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with Ebonyi State Coronavirus and Other Dangerous (Infectious) Diseases and Related Matters Law No 06, 2020.
“Churches are also encouraged to provide palliatives to their worshippers,” the government said
Mr Orji said that before any burial takes place, the government should be notified through his office.
He, however, noted that only the family members of the deceased, who shall not not exceed the stipulated 20 persons, shall attend.
“Burial of loved ones shall be allowed to hold between 9th April, and 20th April, 2020 provided that:
“The State Government, through the office of the Honourable Commissioner for Information and State Orientation must be notified in writing.
“Organisers must ensure the provision of hand sanitizers, face masks, and running water for washing of hands and other precautionary measures.
“Government shall send representatives to such burials to ensure that the precautionary measures are complied with,” he said.
The commissioner also disclosed that during the executive council meeting, palliatives to cushion the effect of the hardship occasioned by the scourge of coronavirus pandemic, were deliberated on.
He said the governor approved the release of N1 billion for the procurement of 400,000 bags of 5kg rice and other foodstuff, and the production of 400,000 face masks as a take-off palliative measure for vulnerable groups.
“The Governor during the meeting also directed the immediate disbursement of the sum of Two Billion Naira (N2, 000,000,000.00) to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) facility for the empowerment of the youths and women in Entrepreneurship and vocational programmes,” he added.
About 44 of the patients have been discharged while six deaths have been recorded.