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Religious leaders urged to follow Covid-19 measures

By Deng Ghai Deng

Police authorities in Bor are urging churches to strictly observe Covid-19 preventive measures during service, saying stern penalties could be imposed against violators.

The call comes amidst reports of continued public gatherings and events, including Sunday church services, without adherence to the stipulated preventive measures.

This month, the National Taskforce on COVID-19, issued an order extending ban on all forms of social gatherings until 3rd April as the country witnessed a surge in cases.

Lt. Colonel John MawutNgang, state’s police Spokesperson, told Juba Monitor that they have been enforcing coronavirus preventive measures at the places of worship since last week.

He also pointed out that they provide health education on Covid-19 besides enforcing the government ban. 

“As police, we are out there reinforcing the government order banning all forms of social gatherings. On Sunday, I attended service at the Nigel Church, people were observing social distancing as prayers were being held under a tree,” Lt. Col. Mawut said.

Bishop James Deng of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan Makuac Diocese said Sunday services have been ongoing despite the ban, emphasizing that God is the only beacon of hope for South Sudanese.

“I do not see a reason why churches should be closed because if you are to go to markets people are congested. In Bor, no social distancing measures are being observed at food distribution points. As the church, we believe, it is through prayers that we will beat this virus,” Bishop Deng said.

He however pointed out that they educate masses on COVID-19 safety measures apart from preaching the gospel.

As on Tuesday, the country recorded 8, 305 cases 4, 217 recoveries and 97 people succumbed to the virus.

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