The Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs Minister, Samuel Kofi Dzamesi, has directed churches and mosques to form COVID-19 Task Forces as part of measures to ensure congregants are safe as they prepare to reopen on June 5.
This directive was in line with the government’s decision to ease the restriction imposed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak in Ghana.
“An abridged format for religious services can commence. Twenty-five per cent attendance, with a maximum number of 100 congregants, can worship at a time in church or at the mosque, with a mandatory one-metre rule of social distancing between congregants,” the president had said in his 10th address.”the mandatory wearing of masks for all persons at all times in churches and mosques, a register of names and contact details of all worshippers and handwashing facilities and sanitisers must be provided, with a maximum duration of one hour for each service.”
Outlining the detailed precautionary protocols for the various religious bodies in the country, the Minister told the media that any religious body that flouts the directive risks being closed or being dealt with appropriately.
The minister also mentioned that that every mosque and church must have a task force to handle emergency situations that may arise during services.
“Form COVID-19 Task Force comprising of members who are preferably health workers. They must be trained in health promotion measures, infection prevention and control and evacuation procedures by Ghana Health Service. The COVID-19 Task Force should call 112 or 311 for support to enable evacuation of anyone who develops fever, coughs and difficulty in breathing during service,” he said.
Already, some churches have started issuing statements to their members that suggest that they are still not open.