Minister for Presidential Affairs Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng, says the decision to reduce the number of church attendance to fifty people was reached following a period of increased disease burden that was experienced across the country in the month of January.
When responding to a question by Member of Parliament for Gantsi South, Morwaeng said it must be noted that upon reaching the decision, some considerations such as the activities common in group gatherings which could increase the risk of contracting the disease were made.
“These include issues which increase the chance of non-adherence to the protocols laid down due to the relations and similarities within the group. A church can therefore be classified as a non-uniform cohort with tendencies of familiarity which can hence compromise the adherence to the COVID 19 protocols.”
The Minister said that they also looked at the capacity existing to respond at community level in the event of an out-break.
He said that the Ministry of Health and Wellness recognizes the risk that exists at all time to contract the disease given the current stage of community spread. “These decisions are not easy but are driven by both the social acceptance and economic impact at all levels.”
He mentioned that the challenges experienced from these measures can be classified into two categories being the impact at community level and impact for the organization itself.
He explained that government recognizes the church as an organized group and hence essential to influence the behaviour of people and their attitude towards disease control. “The church is also vital in supporting the social moral fiber and psychosocial issues at community level. The reduction in numbers therefore has reduced the contact and the impact that these organizations can have at community level to build resilience.”
Morwaeng said that it must be noted that these restrictions are not punitive but posed to protect the mass.
Morwaeng added that government continues to engage with the churches to ensure that they minimize these impacts more importantly as it re-directs it’s response towards community care.
Morwaeng who is also the MP for Molepolole South added that the reduction in numbers has reduced the contact and the impact that these organizations can have at community level to build resilience.