COVID-19: No available data to suggest churches are spreading virus – GPCC

The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) says there is no available data suggesting that church activities are contributing to the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The General Secretary of GPCC, Emmanuel T. Barrigah in a CiTi TV interview said the church has been strictly adhering to the protocols and even entreating their congregation to adhere to them even outside the church premises.

He said based on the level of compliance to the COVID-19 preventive protocols, the churches are a safer place for congregants.

“If there is any evidence or statistics to show that people have become infected when they went to church, it should be put out… [For the infected people] we have been told that they got it from parties and other social gatherings which people go to and put aside the observation of the protocols. But these protocols are strictly observed in the churches so there is no evidence to suggest that the infection rates have gone up because people are going to church,” he said.

“In addition to that, when our people come to church, we always educate them and request of them that they should not just observe the protocols when they come to church but wherever they fund themselves–the marketplaces, in their workplaces, supermarkets– wherever they find themselves, they must see to it that they also observe the protocols,” he added.

In President Akufo-Addo’s last national address on the country’s fight against COVID-19, he announced the re-imposition of restrictions on some public gatherings including parties and funerals as a measure of curbing the spread of the disease.

The president suggested that many people were not adhering to the preventive protocols during such ceremonies.

The President also announced a ban on weddings. This has generated a lot of public discussions but the Minister for Information designate, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah later clarified that the ban is on receptions and other associated events that draw huge numbers.

Emmanuel T. Barrigah said churches will ensure maximum compliance with the health safety protocols during marriages.

“Marriages which are conducted within the church premises is permitted, but it is the wedding receptions where people will gather and put off their masks to eat and fraternize, that is what is being banned, and we will comply with that,” he said.

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