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Lagos Govt. warns worship centres, religious leaders against second wave of COVID-19

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The Lagos State Government has warned religious leaders in the state to intensify adherence to safety protocols in their worship centres to avert the second wave of coronavirus.

The Commissioner for Home Affairs, Prince Anofiu Elegushi said this on Monday, during the commemoration of the International Day of Tolerance at Ikeja.

To infect a person and cause disease, viruses need to get inside individual human cells and reproduce. After a virus particle (called a virion) overcomes the cell’s defenses and enters the cell’s control center, it hijacks cellular machinery to churn out copies of itself. The copied virions burst out and invade other cells, spreading the infection. The new coronavirus that’s causing the global pandemic, called SARS-CoV-2 (the bristly-looking ball in the middle of the image), targets pneumocytes, the respiratory cells lining air sacs in the lungs. To gain entry, SARS-CoV-2 uses a molecular “key” called a spike glycoprotein (the triangle-shaped protrusions from the virion’s surface) to open a pathway into the pneumocyte’s interior. SARS-CoV-2’s spike proteins — its keys — fit a specific “lock” (technically known as a receptor, and in this case, the ACE2 receptor) on a pneumocyte cell’s surface. The ACE2 receptors are the small pink nubs just below the floating SARS-CoV-2 ball. When lock and key (spike protein and ACE2 receptor) connect, the virion gains entry and begins its destructive work. Scientists recently figured out the shape of SARS-CoV-2’s key and the ACE2 lock on respiratory cells’ surfaces. That knowledge could lead to treatments for infected patients, or a vaccine that would block infection.

Elegushi said that there was the need for the worship centres to take the issue of COVID-19 safety protocol adherence seriously to avoid another lockdown.

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He said that some countries such as the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and France among others were currently experiencing the second wave of the virus.

“We cannot afford to allow this to happen, I beseech us to continue to use our face masks, wash our hands frequently.

“Also, maintain social distance in public places while also using alcohol-based hand sanitisers from time to time to combat infection or transmission. I believe together, we shall overcome the scourge.

“Let me reiterate and admonish our beloved people not to relent in supporting and understanding the efforts of the Lagos State Government.

“We should not let down our guards, as it is not yet “Uhuru´´, the battle against this dreaded virus is yet to be over.

“All guidelines and safety protocols of mitigating against the COVID-19 should still be stringently adhered to,´´ the commissioner said.

He said that with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, people´s lifestyle, worldview and global economies had not been the same.

According to him, a lot of people, families have lost their loved ones, lost their livelihoods while companies and organisations are winding up.

He said that the State Government, in its social responsibilities, had put measures in place to assist Small and Medium Scale Enterprises with soft loans and grants.

“The Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had also appealed to corporates not to lay off staff.

“We are indeed faced with several health and economic challenges at this time but the Almighty God has been benevolent to us in Nigeria generally and in Lagos State in particular, coupled with the resilient spirit known to Lagosians.

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“The State Government has observed with a high sense of pride of how Lagos residents had risen to the occasion to partner with government in the area of support and donations as exhibited by well meaning citizens and corporates in providing succour to residents during and after the lockdown resultant from the spike of the coronavirus.

“It is quite commendable that Lagos residents were tolerable of one another.

“During this period, residents exemplified a high sense of humanity whereby everyone looked out for the wellbeing and welfare of one another. This is love in demonstration,´´ Elegushi said. (NAN)

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