By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Solwezi Municipal Council has continued in the fight against the COVID-19 and yesterday the went round in places of worship to check on the compliance levels among congregates.
Solwezi Council Director of Public Health Stanley Mbewe led a team of Public Health Inspectors in monitoring compliance in places of Worship following the Head of State’s decision that some activities may continue being undertaken normally subject to adhering to Public Health regulations, guidelines and certifications.
The Public Health Inspectors who split in two groups monitored churches in various places that included: Weighbridge, Mushitala, Stadium, College area, Zambia, Kazomba and Kyawama compounds, Messenger, among others.
Mr Mbewe said that during the monitoring, some congregants were vividly nervous and opted to leaving the church one by one after seeing the arrival of public health inspectors.
He said the congregates were made to understand that Inspectors had not visited them to condemn anyone or disrupt worship, but educate them on the need to make sure public health standards were observed.
“We all need God’s intervention during the COVID-19 crisis now more than ever and took time to converse with the Church pastors and congregants advising them to wear face masks, observe social distancing and wash hands regularly as preventive measures against the pandemic that has befallen the nation and the world at large.
Mr Mbewe said Church Pastors were encouraged to ensure that at every worship service, there must be adequate ventilation, social distancing must be observed, congregants should wear face masks while requesting them to also note down details of congregants for contact tracing purposes.
He said the Men of God were also asked to obtain a permit from the Local Authority every week authorizing them to congregate each Sunday.
Mr Mbewe said Traditional churches in all the areas visited such as the United Church of Zambia (UCZ), Catholic, SDA and Evangelical were found closed whereas a few Pentecostal churches were open with few congregants in attendance.
He said inasmuch as it was impressive that most of the churches open adhered to the measures put in place by Government, the few that did not comply to the mandatory requirement of wearing masks, observing social distancing and provision of hand washing facilities were implored to do so for their safety and the people around them.