By Ugochukwu Alaribe
UMUAHIA -Abia State government has expressed dissatisfaction with some churches in the state over their failure to comply with COVID -19 protocols.
Chairman, State Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19, Barr. Chris Ezem, who frowned at the flagrant flouting of COVID-19 protocols by some churches in Umuahia, blamed clerics and their members over the development, warning that any church found flouting the State government’s guidelines of 50 worshippers per stream of service stands the risk of being sealed off.
Ezem, who is the Secretary to the State Government, expressed shock that worshippers failed to put on facemasks and observe social distancing in their sitting arrangements in the church despite directives by the government.
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In his words, “COVID-19 has entered the community infection stage. We keep emphasizing on this daily, but it looks like the churches are taking it as a joke. It is not! COVID-19 is not written on anyone’s face; it is neither malaria nor measles whose symptoms are visible. One can contract the virus by coming to church and not following the guidelines of the government.”
He reiterated that the ban on children attending church worships and other gatherings was still in force, as they are vulnerable to COVID 19 infection and commended the also commended the leadership of the Anglican Communion, Ehimiri, Umuahia, for complying with the State Government COVID-19 protocols.
While warning that the government was yet to reopen schools, he disclosed that the government would continue to undertake regular checks of compliance by religious worship centers.