The Bayelsa state government has sealed off six churches for breaching “operational protocols” required to conduct services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 7, the state government relaxed its ban on religious and social gatherings but said churches should not hold services with more than 50 people at a time.
It also asked worship centres to provide hand-washing facilities, and that members must wear face masks with strict observance of social distancing in sitting arrangement.
Freston Akpor, permanent secretary, Bayelsa ministry of information, said the churches involved would be sealed off until further notice.
Akpor listed Living Faith Church, Salvation Victory Centre, Shalom International Christian Centre, Great Grace Distinguished Assembly, Brotherhood of the Cross and Star, Opolo and Hebrews International Church as churches who violated the guidelines.
“The churches will remain sealed until further notice to serve as a deterrent to other churches,” NAN quoted him as saying.
“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.”
The permanent secretary said Hallelujah Deliverance Ministry International and Embassy Faith churches were unsealed after they complied with the state’s COVID-19 guidelines.
So far, Bayelsa has recorded 21 cases of the disease.