Covid-19 Easing: Excitement Meets The Return To Group Worship
The easing of covid-19 restrictions on religious activities by President Akufo Addo comes with some excitement as some Christians gear up for church, the first time in many weeks on Sunday.
The President in his 10th address to the nation announced that religious activities could resume but churches were enjoined to follow strict rules which included limiting the number of congregants to hundred and conducting the service within an hour.
Interacting with a section of residents in the Tema Metropolis on how they welcomed the news, there was a general feeling that the virus had come to stay therefore normal activities should resume whilst citizens faced up to the new normal.
Madam Sandra, a resident said, "We don't know when the virus would go away from Ghana so the government has put in measures for us to observe social distancing in the church so that the church can go on with its activities".
She however asked pastors not to be over excited and stay beyond the mandated time to attract punishments to themselves and risk the lives of their congregants, adding that, "pastors must also put people in charge to ensure members observe all the safety protocols so that we will be safe".
Madam Sandra endorsed the strict adherence to safety measures by saying that, "Government officials should also go round churches to ensure no one is violating the health directives and if they notice recalcitrant churches, they should close them down immediately.”
Mr Kofi Taylor, another resident, said the measures the President was putting in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the country was good and would help citizens go back to their normal lives.
He said, "I think the one hour will reduce the number of people who will go to churches because some of us miss church and would want to attend church services and thank God for how far he has brought us as a country.”
Madam Efua, a trader, noted that although Ghana was not yet out of the woods in terms of number of cases recorded in the country, reopening churches and other religious activities will allow Ghanaians to exercise their rights to worship and light up their spirits.
She said, “We want to worship God and fellowship with other members physically in order to trust that the Lord will not forsake His children in these troubling times and once there is life, I believe there is hope.”
Some churches in the Metropolis the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited, were already putting measures in place to reopen, announcing to their members to visit their premises to engage in clean up exercises.
Speaking to Rev. Dzidzor Etse Atsakpo, Presiding Elder, Tema District of the A.M.E. Zion Church, he informed the GNA that his church's board was seeing to it that everything was in place before they fully reopened to congregants.
Rev. Atsakpo said, “We are encouraging the members, particularly the youth to come on Saturday to help clean up the premises and get it ready for church service and we will make sure all safety measures are put in place to protect members against Covid-19.”