In another development, the federal government has cautioned church leaders to avoid unnecessary show of confidence and reckless statements, which tend to cast doubts on the actual dangers posed by COVID-19 pandemic.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, said the actions of some church leaders could put the citizens at serious health risk.
The SGF, at an interdenominational church service organised by the Nigerian Interreligious Council (NIREC) and the Christian Association of Nigeria yesterday in Abuja, said so far non-pharmaceutical interventions remained the most potent measures to protect oneself against the disease.
Mustapha warned: “There is no vaccine and there is no cure in sight. COVID-19 has come to stay with us; scientists said that it takes about 18 months to produce any vaccine.“There hasn’t been any established treatment protocol. This virus has confused the entire world and has brought democracies on their knees.
“The church should stop the exhibition of reckless confidence and tell their congregations to stay safe for themselves, their families and for the body of Christ.”
He added that COVID-19 is real and that 80 per cent of the carriers do not exhibit symptoms.
“Stay at home; maintain physical distancing; wear a face mask because the virus is emitted either through sneezing or coughing, ensure personal hygiene,” he said.
In his reflections at the interdenominational prayer session, the Catholic Archbishop of the Abuja Metropolitan See, His Grace Ignatius Kaigama, admonished Nigerians to always offer prayers when there are challenges like COVID-19.
While commending CAN for hosting the prayer event, Kaigama said he was impressed and edified that the leadership of NIREC inspired and encouraged Christians and Muslims in Nigeria, each according to their faith tradition, to fast and pray to seek God’s intervention for the defeat of the COVID-19 disease.
He said the positive intervention was what the adherents of the two major religions needed to do more often, to always seek areas of collaboration to promote social harmony, progress and peaceful co-existence.
Kaigama prayed that God will help researchers to find a cure for COVID-19.