It was cheering news to learn about the decision of the Anambra State Government to allow worship to restart in churches in the state after a month’s shutdown.
Worship had been stopped in churches as one of the stern measures to combat and limit the spread of the coronavirus in the state.
The shutdown of churches was among other measures like partial restriction of movement, closure of motor parks, markets and borders, as well as closure of schools. Civil servants were also ordered to stay home.
Food and drug businesses were however not affected, as well as vehicles bringing in food items and fuel products.
The lockdown had been fairly well observed in the state but at a great cost to businesses.
It was particularly frustrating to many of the faithful not to go to church to beseech their God for mercy as a result of the lockdown.
Some even feared that it could affect the faith.
But the Catholic Church in Nigeria abided by government’s directive as a way of giving her support in stemming the scourge of COVID-19 in the country.
It was much the same in Anambra State as compliance was high.
But as is the case in life, everything has a beginning and an end. Last Saturday Gov Willie Obiano announced a relaxation of restrictions which included the reopening of masses/services in churches.
Government however directed that measures be taken to prevent infections during worship. Such measures include washing of hands with soap and sanitisers; wearing of face masks and observance of social distancing. It also made it clear that only worship would be allowed and no other activities like crusades, etcetera.
Government’s relaxation of restrictions came in the wake of the return to zero status of Anambra State on the coronavirus after the state’s only index case was declared negative and all the other samples taken also coming out negative.
These are positive developments which should boost morale.
With churches in the state now free to hold only masses/services, we urge all concerned to fully abide by the directives of the State Government on observance of the World Health Organization’s health guidelines. This is a privilege that should not be abused.
Care should be taken to allow only those wearing face masks and who have washed their hands outside to enter the churches.
As life slowly returns to normal in the state, we pray that it will continue progressing well till such a time things will fully normalize.
We implore everyone to be safety conscious and observe good hygiene.
May God bless us all.