NEWS

Standard Protocols for Religious Bodies

General

1.         The President of the Republic of Ghana, HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his broadcast to the nation on Sunday 30 May 2020 announced a further easing of restrictions pertaining to the COVID-19 phenomenon.  These protocols below are to indicate further measures to be followed in addition to the already announced protocols to be observed by all religious bodies in the garrisons effective Friday 5 June 2020.

General Protocols for all Religious Bodies

2.         An abridged format for religious services can commence.

3.         Twenty-five percent (25%) attendance, with a maximum number of one hundred (100) congregants, can worship at a time in a church for at a mosque, with a mandatory one (1) metre rule (3 feet) of social distancing between congregants.

4.         All congregational sessions must not exceed One Hour (60 minutes)

5.         There will be no Sunday/Children Service or Madrasa Sessions for children.

6.         In addition, all congregants must:

Wear masks at all times.

Wash hands with soap under running water or rub with alcohol-based hand sanitizer before entry.

No handshaking and avoidance of body contact.

Register details of congregation including phone numbers either manually or digitally.  Digital registration can be done on GH COVID-19 APP on PANABIOS APP which can be downloaded at no cost.

General Specific Protocols for churches

7.         Churches must ensure these protocols are observed:

Thermometer guns or thermal scanners are provided for checking the temperature of congregants at entry points of all venues as necessary.

Ensure a No mask: No entry Policy.

Provision of hand washing facilities with running water and soap and/or FDA approved alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Provision of adequate waste management facilities (bins, cans, bin-liners and single-use tissues).

Provision of adequate toilet facilities for use by members.

Regular cleaning and disinfection of frequently used communal places (like toilet surfaces) and frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs/handles, preferably every 1-2 hours depending on the rate of utilization.

Designate a hold room or area where a person who becomes sick at the premises/event can be isolated from others while making arrangements for evacuation.

Regular disinfection of venues used by churches, preferably once every month.  For example, fumigation and disinfection must be carried out with recognized entities like Zoomlion.

Trained cleaners with the necessary personal protective equipment and cleaning items to clean the facilities regularly and handle waste appropriately.

Provide adequate ventilation, i.e open windows to allow for maximum circulation of fresh air, if possible, avoid confined air-conditioned rooms.

Display approved health promotion materials on COVID-19 at vantage points to remind congregants to keep to social distancing protocols, wearing of the masks, regular hand washing, coughing, and sneezing etiquette.

Ensure a No handshake, no hugging and No Spitting policy at all times.

Follow established evacuation procedure (as outlined in Para 9) to enable evacuation if a congregant becomes sick during the event and has to be evacuated.

From COVID-19 task Force comprising of members who are preferably health workers.  They must be trained in Health Promotive Prevention Measure, Infection prevention and Control (IPC) and Evacuation Procedures by the Ghana Health Service.

The COVID Task Force should call 112 or 311 for support to enable evacuation if anyone develops fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing during service.

Unwell person are not allowed to attend church.

Older persons and people of any age with underlying medical conditions, heart diseases, diabetes, liver diseases, and asthma are advised to stay away from church service.

Sharing personal items such as watches, jewelry, pens and phones should be discouraged.

If an individual is confirmed positive for COVID-19, all contacts must be traced and screened.

No crowd dancing and waving of handkerchiefs during church services.

Sanitize microphones immediately after each use.

All who speak/sing in churches (including Pastors, Sunday school teachers, singers and announcers) must wear facemask during service.

Discourage singing in groups. Prerecorded songs or solos should be used.

Pre-packaged communion bread and wine should be picked up by members at the point of entry.

Place offering bowls at the entrance and exit points for members to give offerings and tithe when entering or on their way out of church premises. Encourage cash transfers via mobile money or mobile banking as forms of giving offerings.

In observance of social distancing protocols, laying on of hands should not be allowed.

Spend at least 5 minutes of church service time to educate church members of COVID-19.

Provide separate sitting areas for the aged and for families that are together.

The church is encouraged to mobilize resources to help individuals in need including offering church health facilities.

General Protocols for Mosques

Mosque leaders must ensure these protocols are observed:

8.         Thermometer guns or thermal scanners must be provided for checking the temperature of members at entry points of all venues as necessary.

            Ensure a No mask: No entry Policy.

            Provision of hand washing facilities with running water and soap and or FDA approved alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

            Provision of adequate waste management facilities (bins, cans, bin-liners and single-use tissues)

            Provision of adequate toilet facilities for use by members.

            Regular cleaning and disinfection of frequently used communal places (like bathroom and toilet surfaces) and frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs/handles, preferably every 1-2 hours depending on the rate of utilization.

            Designate a holding room or area where a person who becomes sick at the premises/event can be isolated from others while making arrangements for evacuation.

            Regular disinfection of venues used for mosque gathering, preferably once every month.  For example fumigation and disinfection must be carried out with recognized entities like Zoomlion.

            Professional cleaners with the necessary personal protective equipment and cleaning items to clean the facilities regularly and handle waste appropriately.  

            Provide adequate ventilation, ie open windows to allow for the maximum circulation of fresh air, if possible, avoid confined air-conditioned rooms.

            Display approved health promotion materials on covid-19 at vantage points to remind people to keep to social distancing protocols, wearing of the masks, regular hand washing, coughing, and sneezing etiquette.

            Ensure a No handshake, No hugging and No Spitting policy at all  time.

            Follow established evacuation procedures (as outline in Para 9) to enable evacuation if a participant becomes sick during the event and has to be evacuated.

            Form COVID Task Force comprising of members who are preferably health workers. They must be trained in Health Promotive Prevention measure, Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), and Evacuation Procedures by Ghana Health Service.

            The COVID Task Force should call 112 or 113 for support to enable evacuation if anyone develops fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing during the gathering.

            Unwell persons are not allowed to attend mosques XVII.  Older persons and people of any age with underlying medical conditions, heart diseases, diabetes liver diseases, and asthma are advised to stay away from going to the mosque.

            Sharing personal items such as watches, jewelry, pens and phones should be discouraged.

            If an individual is confirmed positive for COVID-19, all contacts must be traced and screened.

            Ensure each worshiper uses their personal mat (Sajaada), or disinfect mats provided by the mosque before and after use.

            Ablution should be performed in the house by adherents before entering the Mosque.

            Use easily removable footwear such as slippers.

            Allow people to come out of the mosque to collect slippers one after one other instead of crowding at the entrance.

            Put bowl at the entrance of the mosques for the offering of Fisabidali

            Sanitize microphones immediately after each use.

            Spend at least 5 minutes of worship time educate mosque attendees on COVID-19

Evacuation procedures for Churches and Mosques

9.         Evacuation Procedures Actions to be undertaken when dealing with a sick person:

            Obtain the person’s details (name/organization/contact person/immediate family member details including a phone number).

            Inform the sick person that they will be separated/isolated due to symptoms.

            Minimize contact between the sick person and all other persons and direct to the predesigned holding room.

            The sick person must always wear a facemask and observed social distancing at all times

            Organizers or the COVID Task Force must call 112 0r 113 or link up with local district health authorities for immediate evacuation or medical help