Churches defy curfew, persons still liming at creeks in Region 10


Two churches in Region Ten have defied the measures implemented last Friday to combat the spread of COVID-19, to hold services, according to the Regional Democratic Council (RDC).

Regional Chairman Renis Morian during a meeting held with several senior officials of the Regional Health and Emergency Committee, the Linden Chamber of Commerce and the Linden Business Network on Monday said the churches have refused to close their doors.

“One of the churches is a large church and yet their members were there on Sunday despite the curfew order being in place,” Morian told the meeting.

The matter has since been reported to the police.

The Ministry of Public Health has implemented a list of strict measures to encourage social distancing to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus disease.

According to the document, except for the conduct of funeral services and weddings, all churches and places of religious worship including mosques and temples shall be closed.

It does not prohibit any religious worship by virtual or electronic means but said “if virtual or electronic worship is being carried on in the place of worship the number of persons in that place shall not exceed five persons and the social distancing of six feet between persons shall apply.”

According to the RDC, the police have also been facing challenges in enforcing the curfew as more persons are refusing to adhere to the rules.

President of the Linden Business Network addressing the meeting with several other business owners

Photos have also been circulating on social media with persons gathered at creeks for recreational purposes in the region.

According to the RDC, Regional Police Commander, Hugh Winter has admitted that his ranks are stretched as they strive to enforce the curfew in the region.

“We are stretched, and it is important to note that while some have suggested that we tap into the ranks who are currently in training school, this isn’t possible as in preparation for elections 2020 those ranks were distributed nationally. Unfortunately, we received none for Region Ten so we are still managing with our ranks with no addition,” he said.

The Police Commander urged the business community to unite and recognize that the measures being implemented seeks not to reduce their income but rather to safeguard them and their customers.

“You as businesses within the community can play an important part as what I would like to see is that whenever you see a business operating outside of the set out guidelines to urge them to adhere to set out police as it must not be left to the police alone but rather it should be community and team effort. We can fight this together as in the end it will save many lives even including us,” he stressed.

Commander Winter said that he has instructed his ranks to ensure that there is full enforcement of the order irrespective of who it is.

The Commander said his ranks will continue to patrol the creeks and other areas that is known for recreational activities.

The meeting which was chaired by the Regional Chairman and co-chair by the Mayor Waneka Arrindell.

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