Hajia Mariama Obeng, National Co-ordinator of the Ghana Muslim Mission Women’s Fellowship (GMMWF) has said the Fellowship plans to rally and task health workers within their ranks to devise strategies for implementing the preventive measures imperative for communal worship.
She said in view of the high daily numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases, the easing of the restrictions on communal worship should be met with a gradual opening up programme.
For instance, she said, it could begin with some 25 worshippers to test how the social distancing and hygienic protocols would be managed, before adding up 50 and so on.
“The nature of our religion demands a lot of bodily contact, which is not allowed in this period of global pandemic, so for now, all our activities have been deferred to next year,” she told the Ghana News Agency, in an interview.
Hajia Obeng advised members to continue to adhere to all the preventive measures while efforts were made to ensure their wellbeing ahead of the opening of the mosques.
In another interview, Hajia Hajara Telly, National President of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Ghana (FOMWAG), said the Federation would comply with all the directives given by the President.
She said the health of their members was paramount and the lifting of the ban on mosques did not mean that the virus had stopped spreading.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his 10th COVID-19 National Address to update Citizens on COVID-19 containment measures, outlined an abridged format for in-person religious services to commence on June 5, with Muslim worship.
Adventists were to follow on Saturday, June 6, while other Christians followed suit on Sunday, June 7.
He said the decision to gradually ease the restrictions was reached by consensus, which emerged from consultations with various stakeholders who advised that “the country should embark on a strategic, controlled, progressive, safe easing of restrictions to get our lives and economy back to normal”.
The directives require that religious leaders ensured a mandatory one-metre rule of social distancing between congregants.
Also, it is mandatory for all worshippers to wear face masks, at all times, in churches and mosques.
They are also to fumigate all their facilities premises and environs.
Each religious facility is also mandated to keep a register of names and contact details of all worshippers, fix hand washing facilities, and make provision for sanitizers, among others.
Worshippers must occupy 25 per cent of the meeting space but they must not 100 at a service, while the service must not travel beyond one hour.