Churches in Lake region resume physical worship

Monday, August 2nd, 2021 00:00 |
Low turn-out at Kisumu Central SDA church on Saturday. Photo/COURTESY

Churches in the Lake Region counties resumed  congregational worship over  the weekend after  the government lifted the ban that had been imposed as part of  Covid-19 containment measures.

Places of worship in the 13 counties under Lake Region Economic bloc held their first services after weeks of suspension.

Most churches opened doors for worshippers even though a low attendance was witnessed in a majority of them.

A spot check by People Daily established that most places of worship had observed coronavirus containment including ensuring one third capacity and keeping physical distance.

Besides stressing on putting on teh masks properly, the churchs management also ensured there were enough hand washing and sanitation points.

Messages of Covid-19 protocols also dominated the worship services as preachers urged the contregants to take  personal responsibility in containing the spread of the virus.

Revised guidelines

Rev Dickson Otigo of Deliverance Church in Kisumu town said the move to allow in-person worship was a good gesture for the faithful’s spiritual growth.

Otigo said the faithfuls were happy to be back for congrerational worship which they had missed for a long time.

“We thank the government for allowing the churches in this region to resume normal worship. We shall at all times adhere to the laid down containment rules,” he said.

The government while announcing revised guidelines for the region, said the churches were allowed to conduct congrerational worship under strict rules issued by the interfaith council.

Meanwhile, residents in the lake region welcomed the extension of curfew hours, saying it was a reprieve especially for business activities.

The government last Friday revised curfew hours for the 13 lake region counties that were declared as Covid-19 hotspots following a surge in infections.

In a new directive by Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, curfew in the counties will now begin at 10pm and end at 4am like the rest of the country.

“The hours of the ongoing national curfew to continue across the country from 10 pm to 4 am across the country. This applies now to the counties in the lake region as well,” Kagwe said.

On June 18, the government revised curfew hours for  13 counties in the region from 10pm to 7pm.

The counties are; Busia, Vihiga, Kisii, Nyamira, Kakamega, Kericho, Bomet, Bungoma, Trans Nzoia, Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori.

The new Covid-19 containment guidelines issued, also saw all public gatherings including political rallies as well as intergovernmental meetings suspended.

Kisumu county Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KNCCI) branch chairman Israel Agina said the business sector had suffered greatly from ripple effects of the new restrictions.

Agina noted that the extension of the curfew time is expected to come as a boost to thebusiness people.

Massive losses

“We expect the economy will be opened by easing some of the regulations so that business can start again,” Agina toldPeople Daily yesterday.

According to the KNCCI official, traders recorded significant reduction in business volumes and massive losses due to the introduction of the new covid regulations.

 Agina notes that movement of goods and people was also affected by the new restrictions.

“It has been a terrible scenario for people in business. Business outlets have had to close earlier than usual, impacting on their overall performance. People have lost jobs in the process,” he said.

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