Stick to mandated 2-hour church service sessions and COVID-19 protocols, IGP cautions


The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. James Oppong-Boanuh, has called on religious bodies, especially churches, to hold services within two hours during the Easter festivities.

He noted that during Easter, religious activities across the country were always on the increase and it was, therefore, important to reduce the numbers and strictly observe all the COVID-19 protocols.

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“Conventions, crusades, pilgrimages, and such large physical gatherings are not allowed,” he stressed in an exclusive interview monitored by over the weekend.

On security measures.

Outlining measures put in place by the police to ensure security and peaceful festivities, the IGP said the police would provide enhanced security during the festivities and that would include the deployment of plainclothes and uniformed officers to monitor compliance with COVID-19 protocols and take the necessary actions.

“They will also intensify their vigilance over criminal activities across the country,” he stated.

The IGP indicated that hosting any carnival, festival, beach gathering, street dances, procession, parades and such events was illegal as well as nightclubs, cinemas and movie houses were also banned from opening.

Concrete strategies.

“I want to assure citizens and foreign nationals living in the country that the police service is determined to ensure peace and guarantee the security of all. In this regard, a number of concrete operational strategies have been put in place,” he said.

“We continue to intensify day and night patrols, snap checks, intelligence-led swoops, highway and residential patrols, motor traffic enforcement strategies, community engagement and sensitization on security,” he added.

On criminal activities.

He called on the public to continue to be vigilant and report all criminal activities to the nearest police station and also urged the public to abide by the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the President, which had legal backing, as the police would strictly enforce them.

On social activities.

“All activities of ‘closed room’ bar or pub, including those in hotels, remain illegal,” the IGP stated.

However, the IGP explained that open air drinking spots may operate provided that they observed all other COVID-19 protocols.

Tourist sites
He added that tourist sites and attractions might, however, open to the public provided they ensured the wearing of face masks, social distancing and enhanced hygiene by all patrons.

On funerals, the IGP said, families might want to take advantage of the holiday period to bury loved ones but reminded the public that it was illegal to hold funerals, saying “private burials may be held with a maximum of 25 people if held outside the church or religious facility.”

“For church or religious burial services, the maximum number of participants should be 100. In all cases, the COVID-19 protocols are expected to be observed, with the duration not exceeding two hours.”

On-road safety.

On-road safety, the IGP said together with its partners, police officers would be present at mapped-out traffic congestion and accident-prone areas and that people who drove beyond speed limits, overloaded, drunk while driving, and indulged in such other traffic irregularities would be arrested.

“I call on all to continuously give maximum support to the police and security services to facilitate the provision of adequate and guaranteed security.

Churches who fail to abide by COVID-19 protocols will be sanctioned – Christian Council

The police are your partners on a common drive to consolidate peace and security, and to also promote social cohesion,” the IGP said.

The Police Administration encouraged the public to continue to be vigilant and in cases of emergency crime situations, the public should call the following:

0550323323, 0275000156 or Toll-Free numbers 18555, 191, and 112.

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Citizen Atare is a Ghanaian who hails from the Upper East Region. He is an ICT professional working with CERSGIS, a Remote Sensing & GIS Centre, located at the University of Ghana, Legon. Citizen Atare is an amateur freelance writer and blogger for over 20 years, who likes to research into everyday lifestyle issues and situations, politics, and cultural practices to write about to educate and also entertain his readers. He is a highly creative and motivated, highly inquisitive, open minded and to an extent risk-taking with a high visual acumen. He is a dreamer who isn’t afraid to break creative barriers. He is also a passionate aviation, tech and motoring enthusiast with a lot of knowledge to share and a private researcher. He has no formal education or certificate in journalism, but the hunger to know more and do more, backed by an impressive work portfolio is what drives him to write the things he knows best for his numerous online fans. Citizen Atare is married to Margaret and they both live in Accra with their lovely daughter Zoey. His hobbies include reading, listening to very good music; especially jazz, writing, watching action, sci-fi and adventure movies, travel and site seeing and swiming. He likes eating fufu and palm nut soup, but prefers boiled rice and kontomire stew with agushie more.


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