COVID-19: “Sanitize Microphones After Each Use” – Minister Cautions Religious Leaders
As part of measures of reducing the transmission of covid-19 from one person to another, Minister of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Kofi Dzamesi has cautioned the various Religious Leaders of the Christian, Muslim and Traditional Worship to ensure that microphones to be used during services are sanitized after each usage.
According to the Minister, the move when taken into practise will help reduce the spread of the deadly coronavirus among the Religious Leaders and congregation.
Addressing Journalists in Accra on Monday, Kofi Dzamesi said “Sanitize microphones immediately after each use. All who speak/sing in churches (including Pastors, Sunday school teachers, Singers and Announcers) must wear facemask during service”
The Minister further discouraged singing in groups adding that pre-recorded songs or solos should be used.
As government is bent on ensuring that the COVID-19 is kicked out of the country, Mr. Dzamesi stressed that pre-packaged communion bread and wine should be picked up by members at the point of entry.
“Place offering bowls at the entrance and exit points for members to give offerings and tithes when entering or on their way out of church/mosque premises. Encourage cash transfers via mobile money or mobile banking as forms of giving offerings. In observance of social distancing protocols, laying on of hands should not be allowed” he reminded Religious Leaders.
He therefore appealed to the Religious Leaders to spend at least 5 minutes of their service time to educate church members on Covid-19.
The Religious Affairs Minister hinted that leaders should provide separate sitting areas for the aged and for families that are together.
The church, mosque and other places of worship was encouraged to mobilize resources to help individuals in need including offering church health facilities.
“Churches must ensure these protocols are observed: I. Thermometer guns or thermal scanners are provided for checking the temperature of congregants at entry points of all venues as necessary. II. Ensure a No mask: No entry Policy. Provision of hand washing facilities with running water and soap and/or FDA approved alcohol-based hand sanitizer” he reiterated.
The Minister says he is confident that the Christian, Muslim Community and all other religions will observe the directives strictly.
Speaking on enforcement, Hon. Kofi Dzamesi said “Self-Regulation is through churches, mosques and all other religious organizations but the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Local Government in collaboration with Ghana Health Service officials shall take enforcement responsibilities”
He hinted that where necessary, the state security services, will ensure enforcement of these protocols adding that there will be Random enforcement checks to ensure compliance.
Meanwhile Minister for Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful hinted that a digital app has ben created to help religious leaders keep track and accurate data of members who will be fellowship at church, mosques and other places of worship.
She said “Register details including phone numbers, manually or digitally. This will help in identifying and tracing persons who will show signs of the virus. Digital registration can be done on GH COVID-19 APP on PANABIOS APP which can be downloaded at no cost”
Special Advisor to the President on Health, Dr. Nsiah Asare explained “One can be allowed to hold daily church serve if only he or she abides by the directives given mostly importantly wearing of the mask.
He explained that Religious Leaders should work within the 1hr given to avoid confrontation with security personnel.
The General Superintendent of Assemblies of God, Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong Manso revealed that the church is happy to converged again as a family to praise and worship the Creator of the world.
“We are happy and ready to worship and pray to God. We have prepared. We will fumigate and disinfect all the church to avoid the spread of the novel virus” he explained.
He warned ‘fake pastors’ to refrain from their demonic activities adding that any attempt to use covid-19 to dupe a congregant will fail.
Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, Most Rev. Dr. Paul Kwabena Boafo in an exclusive interview with Thinknewsonline.com said “We in the Methodist Church have decided to fumigate and disinfect all of our churches across the country. As a result, we will not be part of the other churches who will be having their first Sunday service this weekend”
He hinted that the Methodist Church has agreed to train its members from Bishops to Ushers on how to relate with the congregation to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith