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NCDC: Those with cough, fever shouldn’t be allowed in religious gatherings, NYSC camp

NCDC: Those with cough, fever shouldn’t be allowed in religious gatherings, NYSC camp
March 17
14:35 2020
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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says people who have cough, fever or other coronavirus-like symptoms should not be allowed to join mass gatherings.

In a notice released on Monday, the NCDC defined mass gatherings as highly visible events with the potential for serious public health consequences.

Churches, mosques, school and sporting events, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camps were listed as mass gatherings.

Mass gatherings, the centre said, can amplify the spread of infectious diseases including COVID-19. 

“At this stage, we are not advising the cancellation of gatherings, but our advice may change as the epidemiological situation evolves. This is assessed on a daily basis,” NCDC said. 

For organisers of any event that would make a mass gathering, here are the things NCDC wants you to put in place: 

PRE-EVENT OR GATHERING

The state ministry of health should be informed of the event. The location will be assessed by officials from the state ministry of health to ensure safety procedures are in place. The requirements listed below will be assessed prior to the event.

  • Organisers should provide the following information to attendees prior to the event and at entry:
  • Advice on regularly and thoroughly washing of hands with soap under running water or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid shaking hands, hugging and any other form of physical contact where possible
  • Please stay at home if you feel ill with fever, cough or breathing difficulties
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze (organisers can provide this). Dispose of the tissues immediately
  • Please remain in self-isolation for 14 days, if you have just returned from China, Japan, Italy, Republic of Korea, Iran, France, Germany, Spain

DURING EVENT OR GATHERING

  • Use the gathering to reinforce messages on hand and respiratory hygiene and staying safe. Religious institutions are encouraged to demonstrate hand washing technique before the start of prayers to their congregation
  • Ensure provision of adequate hand washing facilities including running water, soap or alcohol-based hand sanitiser
  • People with symptoms such as cough and fever should NOT BE ALLOWED into the premises. Arrangements should be made to check this on entry
  • Organisers should provide adequate human resource who will be responsible for cleaning and disinfecting communal places such as ablution areas, all floors, toilets and surfaces such as door handles, chairs and church benches with disinfectant or soap
  • Organisers should provide adequate waste management facilities such as closed trash cans so that people dispose of tissue and other waste properly
  • Organisers should review practices that put their congregation at risk (e.g sharing a communal cup, receiving the holy communion on the tongue, shaking hands)

FACILITIES IN PLACE FOR MASS GATHERINGS

  • Room with adequate ventilation and proper air circulation
  • Handwashing facilities- running water and soap
  • Waste management facilities
  • Health personnel to detect fever on entry and respond to emergencies
  • Adequate resources to disinfect after the event

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