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Pregnant women, children shut out as churches reopen in Ogun

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Churches in Abeokuta, the Ogun capital, reopened on Sunday with most complying with the protocols to check the spread of the virus while pregnant women and children were not allowed into some of the churches

In some of the churches visited, automated hand washing units, hand sanitisers and infrared thermometers were deployed by the churches.

Many churches also displayed the bold inscription, ” No Mask No Entry, ” at entrances, with officials taking the temperature of worshipers wearing facemasks.

Social distancing was observed by worshipers with stickers to show distance spacing.

At Living Faith Church World wide (Winners Chapel) at Querry road in Abeokuta, three services were held with an impressive turn out of Christian faithful.

Security agents as well as members of the State Taskforce on COVID-19 were present in many churches to monitor compliance.

At St. Leo Catholic Church, Otun Abeokuta Diocese, a cleric, Rev. Lawrence Ogundipe, said  that only parishioners with face masks were allowed into the church to observe the holy mass.

Ogundipe added that parishoners all had their temperature checked and hands washed before being granted access into the church.

He said messages had earlier been sent to parishioners through church platforms to inform them on the COVID-19 protocols and how the services would be conducted.

The cleric advised parishioners to adhere to government’s precautionary measures against COVID-19.

He also promised that all government guidelines against the spread of the virus would be applied in the services.

At the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Jesus Centre Family, Omida area of Abeokuta, there was, however, a low turnout of Christian faithful.

The pastor in charge, Lakan Badru, expressed joy at having members back to church after over four months.

Badru appealed to members to use the reopening of churches as an opportunity to support the government in seeking divine intervention for  an end to the pandemic.

He also urged members to comply with all government guidelines in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19. 

At the Divine Universal Churches Of Christ International Itedo Ayo, Oke Berger Idi Mango Oke Ata Abeokuta, Rev. Dr. Olayiwola Mercy said it was regrettable that government could close down worship centres due to the pandemic. 

He noted that religious leaders had been expecting the government to reopen churches before now,  saying that it was easy to observe government directives in the church than the market which was not totally shut down. 

He lamented that the guidelines to avoid the spread of the virus was too difficult , saying that  it was unfortunate that such guidelines were not giving to politicians who before now had been engaged in series of rally in preparation for an election .

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