The Imo State COVID-19 Task Force on Sunday expressed satisfaction with the level of compliance by some churches with the coronavirus protocols in the state.
This, the task force said, included wearing of face masks, washing of hands and maintaining social distancing.
The Chairman of the task force, Prof. Maurice Iwu, stated this when he led his team to visit some churches in Owerri, the state capital, to ascertain level of compliance by worshippers to the coronavirus guidelines.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the churches visited included Catholic the ArchDiocese of Owerri, Assumpta Cathedral, Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, Anglican Diocese and Living Faith Church (Winners’ Chapel), all in Owerri.
Iwu said the churches were chosen at random, adding that others, especially those in the rural areas, would also be visited.
He noted that it was not only necessary to take the COVID-19 campaign to churches, but also to monitor their compliance with the necessary protocols.
Iwu reiterated the fact that coronavirus was real, preventable and treatable, stating that compliance with all the necessary guideline was necessary in order to prevent its spread.
He noted that the state had not witnessed any death attributable to the disease.
Iwu, a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, commended the churches visited for being receptive and observing the COVID-19 protocol of hand washing under running water, use of hand sanitiser and observing social distancing.
According to him, though coronavirus is not new, it gives a different presentation any time it visits a place, but relaxes with observance of proper protocol and rule of hygiene.
He said: “The virus is not new in Nigeria and in the world.
“We witnessed something similar in 2014 and 2015.
“It spreads from one person to another and so it becomes necessary to maintain a distance between one person and another, wear face masks and wash hands under running water, with application of alcohol-based hand sanitiser as often as possible.
“Even singing loud in the church among choir members can help spread the virus, as such choir people should learn how to sing with their face masks on.
“People should be encouraged to use their brains, their thinking faculty and not only prayers to handle coronavirus.”
Iwu pointed out that isolation was in the best interest of the person suspected to have the virus and also the residents of the state as such a person would be monitored and treated in case of any symptomatic presentation.
He said: “The state has so far recorded zero death.
“The people isolated have been cooperating very well and they are well cared for.
“Many people believe the virus does not exist.
“COVID-19 is real and not a scam.
“Wearing of face masks is not to punish people.
“What we are interested in is saving lives, using existing infrastructure of the state government and also monitoring global developments to help our people.”