The government of Gabon will, ahead of the reopening of places of worship on October 30, discuss with the different denominations to integrate the COVID-19 context.
Gabon takes the pandemic very seriously despite its downward trend in recent weeks. The country still has 335 active cases, but has deplored 54 deaths since the first case. In addition, 8548 out of 8937 infected people have recovered. Nevertheless, the curfew is maintained and mosques and churches will not reopen for another three days.
“In view of the reopening this Friday, October 30 of places of worship in Gabon, I instructed Prime Minister Rose Christiane Ossouka Raponda and the Government to meet with leaders of religious groups to refine, in a concerted and constructive spirit, the health protocol,” President Ali Bongo said Monday in a Facebook post.
The Head of State chaired a working session attended by the Ministers of Interior and Health, in addition to the Head of Government. The modalities were thus decided during the meeting despite a wait considered long by some priests. They were determined to reopen their parishes despite government warnings.
Authorities wanted full technical and health guarantees before making a decision. From now on, a maximum of 30 people were allowed to gather in places of worship and restaurants.
“I am the guarantor of freedom of worship in Gabon but also of the protection of the health of Gabonese people. It is this balance that I intend to preserve,” said Bongo.