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1.1. BACKGROUND OF STUDY
It is generally considered by policy makers, planners and emergency services that mass gatherings e.g. Religious and social gatherings can be the cause of outbreaks or an increased incidence of various infectious diseases. These views are based on an understanding of the ways that certain infectious diseases can be spread and the conditions that are observed at mass gathering events and sites. It is well established that Corona Virus is transmitted from person to person through close contact with an infected, symptomatic individual. The exact mechanisms by which transmission occurs have not been fully elucidated, but is believed to involve multiple routes including large respiratory droplets and direct/indirect contact (1) with secretions or fomites. Aerosol transmission may also occur, but there is considerable controversy about this. A body of evidence supporting an important role for aerosol transmission (2) was called into question by other investigators holding that aerosols do not play a major role (3). This is an ongoing debate and some further evidence of aerosol transmission has recently been put forward (4). This is an important dialogue because the mechanism of transmission is always a key factor in infection control planning. While uncertainty persists regarding aerosols, droplet and contact transmission remain largely regarded as the most important and likely routes. Transmission through these routes clearly requires physical nearness to infected persons, via either direct touch or the propulsion of large droplets across a relatively short distance. This requirement makes the consideration of mass gatherings a crucial issue. Religious and social gathering events involve large numbers of people congregating in finite geographical areas to share an event or experience. Individuals can be in very close proximity for variable periods of time and, if the event is over a number of days, may even share over-crowded and/or temporary accommodation. For those infectious diseases, like Corona Virus 2019, where close contact is the main determinant of transmission it therefore appears self-evident that mass gathering events could lead to the rapid transmission of a new influenza virus. In the event of a Corona virus pandemic, minimising transmission of Corona virus has been a priority for public health action. A variety of non-pharmaceutical public health interventions such as quarantine, self-isolation of patients, respiratory etiquette and hand washing have been advocated to reduce the opportunities for close contact between infected and susceptible individuals or the opportunities for the virus to be picked up by susceptible people. Banning or restricting mass gatherings has been seen as a logical extension of this policy; however, it is a particular concern of policy makers that the scientific evidence upon which to base guidance for mass gatherings is lacking. This is particularly important given the need to weigh any potential benefits against the economic and social disruption that banning or restricting mass gathering could have on society. The Department of Health (DH) commissioned the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to undertake an update of the previous systematic review of the evidence base relating to the effect or impact that mass gathering restrictions may have during a Corona virus pandemic. This is an important policy area not only because of the impact such restrictions could have on public confidence and morale but also because of the economic and liability issues that such action might generate.
Due to these reasons it is imperative that we do a thorough investigation on the impact of corona virus pandemic on religious and social gathering in Nigeria.
1.2. Statement of problem
Viruses may be transmitted from person to person by the inhalation of droplets or aerosols containing virus particles and by direct/indirect contact with the virus. Although the complete details of factors that affect transmissibility of Corona Virus are not yet fully understood, close contact is a consistent finding associated with the transmission and spread of the virus and while the relative contributions of each of these routes of transmission are not known, droplet spread is considered to be the most important. Religious and social gatherings involve large numbers of people gathered together in small geographical areas for a period of time. Based on this understanding of how Corona virus is spread and the conditions that characterize mass gatherings, from first principles, these events would seem to provide a good opportunity for the rapid transmission of influenza to large numbers of people and its subsequent dissemination. By extension, it would seem plausible that banning or regulating such gatherings could reduce COVID transmission Hence the researcher’s bid to measure the impact of the disease on religious and social gathering in Nigeria.
1.3. Research objectives
The primary purpose of the review was to assess the impact of coronavirus pandemic on religious and social gathering in Nigeria
Other specific objectives include;
1. To identify whether religious and social gathering events facilitate transmission during a pandemic
2. To inform statements on the effectiveness of interventions that may be deployed to reduce spread of a new Corona virus at religious and social gathering events during a pandemic.
3. To evaluate the impact of social distancing on reducing the spread of a new Corona virus at religious and social gathering events during a pandemic
1.4. Research Questions
1. How does religious and social gathering events facilitate transmission during a pandemic?
What is the effectiveness of interventions that may be deployed to reduce spread of a new Corona virus at religious and social gathering events during a pandemic?
3. What are the impacts of social distancing on reducing the spread of a new Corona virus at religious and social gathering events during a pandemic?
1.5. Scope of study
Only studies published in English and which had an abstract were included, but WHO papers or Eurosurveillance articles with relevant titles were also considered even if they had no abstracts. Only studies in humans were considered directly relevant for the review. Relevant systematic and narrative reviews and operational description papers were utilized for useful background information. The reference lists of the systematic reviews and other key review papers were scanned to identify potentially relevant primary studies that could be considered for inclusion in the review.
1.6. Significance of Study
This study will examine the impact of novel coronavirus (ncovid-19) on religious and social gathering. Recommendation that will promote sustainable development will be made based on the findings of this study. The findings in this study will be of immense importance in many ways.To the national policy makers in the global houses of parliament, necessary solutions mapped out would help the country and religious leaders to get back to their feet in the face of economic crisis
1.7. Definition of Terms
Mass gatherings: Mass gatherings are events attended by a sufficient number of people to strain the planning and response resources of the host community, state/province, nation, or region where it is being held
Social gathering: Social gathering is a gathering of people who have been invited by a host for the purposes of socializing, conversation, recreation, or as part of a festival or other commemoration of a special occasion
Religious gathering: Religious gathering is a gathering of people who are gathered in religious houses to worship
Virus: A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea
Pandemic: A pandemic is a disease epidemic that has spread across a large region, for instance multiple continents, or worldwide. A widespread endemic disease with a stable number of infected people is not a pandemic. Further, flu pandemics generally exclude recurrences of seasonal flu.
Epidemic: An epidemic is the rapid spread of disease to a large number of people in a given population within a short period of time. For example, in meningococcal infections, an attack rate in excess of 15 cases per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks is considered an epidemic
COVID-19: Corona Virus Disease 2019
Polymerase Chain Reaction: Polymerase chain reaction is a medical test widely used in molecular biology to rapidly make millions to billions of copies of a specific DNA sample allowing scientists to take a very small sample of DNA and amplify it to a large enough amount to study in detail