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Six churches sealed in Bayelsa for flouting guidelines for services

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The Bayelsa State Government on Monday said it has sealed six churches in the state for breaching ”operational protocols” required to conduct services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It would be recalled that the state government had on May 7 relaxed the ban on social and religious gatherings, allowing churches to hold services with up to 50 worshipers.

The churches were however expected to comply strictly with conditions on provision of handwashing facilities, wearing of face masks and observance of social distancing in the seating arrangements.

The Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Information, Mr Freston Akpor, however said on Monday in Yenagoa, that the Security Sub – Committee of the state’s Task Force on COVID- 19, sealed the churches during its surveillance on Sunday.

Read also: Bayelsa govt says 2 military officials among state’s 3 new COVID-19 cases

Akpor said: “The six churches were sealed for failure to comply with safety measures put in place by the government to contain the spread of the pandemic and protect the people of Bayelsa.

“The affected churches are, Living Faith Church, Igbogene, Salvation Victory Centre, Igbogene, Shalom International Christian Centre, along Tombia-Amassoma Road and Great Grace Distinguished Assembly, Okutukutu.

“Others are Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, Opolo and Hebrews International Church, Ayama Road.

“The churches will remain sealed until further notice to serve as deterrent to other churches.

“The move will help in ensuring that other churches adhere to the protocols on hand washing, use of face masks and social distancing as measures to check the spread of the virus in the state.”

According to him, the security sub-committee of the task force on COVID-19, unsealed two churches earlier shutdown for violating safety measures on the pandemic, adding that the two churches, the Halleluya Deliverance Ministry International and Embassy Faith churches were unsealed after undertaken to comply with prescribed safety protocols.
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