COVID-19 Restrictions: Churches Cautious Of Lifting Protocols

Some churches in Accra are cautious in lifting the COVID-19 restrictions despite the government’s easing of all such protocols.

Monitoring by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at some churches in and around Korle Gonno, Banana Inn and Dansoman, on Sunday, showed that not all the restrictions put in place as a control measure during the pandemic had been lifted by the churches.

While most of the churches continue to provide handwashing materials and sanitizers, observing these protocols was, however, not mandatory.

Wearing nose masks had also reduced drastically while social distancing was barely observed in most of the churches.

At the Lighthouse Chapel International, Korle Gonno Cathedral, for instance, compulsory washing of hands and sanitizing had been halted.

Registration of members that was put in place by the branch during the pandemic for easy contact tracing in case of an outbreak had also been stopped.

The church, however, was yet to return to its capacity, limiting a seat per member to three instead of the usual six, to allow for the observance of the social distancing protocol, while an encouraging number of the congregation continue to wear the nose mask.

At the Springhouse Chapel International, at Akokofoto, Dansoman, water and soap for handwashing as well as sanitizer were still provided. There was also social distancing, but the wearing of face masks had reduced drastically.

Similar scenes were observed at the Church of Pentecost, Great Commission Church International and the Church of Conquerors International, all at Banana Inn and the Divine Healers Church at Soko.

 President Akufo-Addo on Sunday, March 27, during his 28th address on measures taken against the spread of COVID-19, announced the lifting of all restrictions effective Monday, March 28, 2022.

The President, in his easing of the restrictions, said: "Outdoor functions at sporting events, entertainment spots, political rallies and funerals may resume at full capacity, again, as long as all persons at these events are fully vaccinated."  

"All in-person activities, such as those that take place in churches, mosques, conferences, workshops, private parties and events, cinemas and theatres may resume at full capacity, as long as the audience and/or participants are fully vaccinated,” he added.

The President, however, encouraged the continuous washing of hands and the sanitizing of hands.

“Handwashing and hand sanitizing points should be made available at these venues," he said.

The restrictions were introduced by the government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to stem the spread of the virus.

Among the protocols were wearing a nose mask, regular washing of hands with soap under running water and regularly sanitizing of hands.

Ghana, as of Thursday, March 31, 2022, has given out 13 million doses of vaccines.

So far, more than five million (5.05million) Ghanaians, representing 16.3 per cent, have fully been vaccinated against the virus.

The government says it hoped to vaccinate some 20 million Ghanaians by June 2022, to achieve herd immunity to minimise the spread.