Luanda — Some churches in Luanda province opened Saturday their doors to worship God as a group, observing all biosecurity measures imposed by the country's health authorities in order to avoid mass contagion by Covid-19 pandemic.
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Churches have complied with biosecurity measures
Religious services throughout the country, with large gatherings, had been banned last March when the State of Emergency was decreed under the Contingency Plan to mitigate the spread of the virus, which has so far infected 3,848 people in the country and claimed 147 lives.
In a round conducted by Angop to assess the degree of compliance with biosecurity measures on the first day of the opening of religious services, after six months of "fasting", it was found that the denominations that have opened their doors Saturday have created the required conditions.
In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, in addition to the water and detergents made available to the faithful, a spacing of two meters was created between the seats for proper social distance, a temperature measuring device and the use of the mask at the entrance to the temple.
According to the president of the Northeast Union of Angola of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, Justino Paulo, to avoid the crowd of the faithful the church is holding two services on Saturdays, from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., with the presence of 80 faithful in each, with one hour for sanitization of the temple.
He considered the behaviour of the faithful on the first day of the opening to be positive, but in the meantime he guided the people in the groups at risk (the elderly, the hypertensive and the diabetic) to opt for the use of television channels to watch the services from their homes.
The Church of Jesus Christ on Earth (Kimbanguista), which held its first service on Saturday afternoon, created all the conditions for hygiene, such as washing hands with soap and water, spacing for social distancing, a temperature measuring device and the mandatory use of masks.
Speaking to Angop, the leader of that congregation, Paiul Kissolokele, said that in a first phase the services would be held in the open air, in order to comply with the recommendations of the multi-sectoral commission to fight Covid-19.
He said that this would be a first experience to investigate the impact of this measure, initially guiding children and elderly people to abstain from participating in the services.
The Josafat Church also held fasting and prayer this Saturday, with the participation of two thousand faithful, far below the 15,000 that it hosts.
The fulfillment of biosecurity measures is safeguarded, according to the pastor responsible for this area, Valdemir Carvalho.