COVID-19 second wave: Edo Taskforce visits churches, enforce compliance to safety protocol

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The Edo State Government Coronavirus (COVID19) Taskforce has visited churches to enforce compliance to safety protocols released by the state government to check the spread of the second wave of the pandemic.

The state government monitoring team led by Mrs Grace Ireotoi and Mrs Irene Uabor visited Holy Cross Cathedral, All Souls Anglican Church, Christ Victory Bible Church, St. John Vianney Catholic Church, among others in the state capital, Benin City, to ensure that the churches abide by government's directives.

Addressing journalists shortly after the exercise, Mrs Grace Ireotoi commended the worship centres for insisting that worshippers abide by the new directives.

She said, "the second wave of the COVID-19 is real. We want to see for ourselves if the churches are observing social distancing and if provision was made for hand washing facilities. We also wanted to observe if worshipers are adhering to the directives on compulsory wearing of face masks. These preventive measures are strictly to be adhered to by churches.

“Within the church, things are going on smoothly, but it is a different ball game outside. Social distancing is not being observed. We have spoken to the heads of the protocol units and they have promised to work on it, but for the use of facemask, the compliance is 98 per cent,” she said.

Mrs Irene Uabor also commended the worshippers for observing the safety measures to check the spread of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, noting, "Everybody had their facemasks on. It is like they are all aware of the virus and understand the reason behind putting on facemasks and observing social distancing which is commendable.”

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Rev. Father Alfred Agbonlahor said the Catholic Archbishop of Benin had in a letter urged all parishes to comply with the government's protocols, adding "we have consistently reminded our parishioners to always put on the need to use their facemasks. The church also provided hand wash stations.”

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