Nairobi Catholic church issues directives to battle coronavirus

Friday March 27 2020
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Catholics celebrate Christmas on December 25, 2018 at Holy Family Minor Basilica in Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By BERNARDINE MUTANU

Nairobi Catholic Archdiocese has suspended Sunday Schools and directed bishops to ensure masses do not go beyond one hour, as measures of containing the spread of coronavirus.

In a letter addressed to all the churches, Pastoral Coordinator Wallace Ng'ang'a also said members should avoid shaking hands.

As the nation battles the pandemic, the church has listened to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe's appeal that the war requires efforts and commitment of everyone.

"Please take any precautionary measures according to the situation on the ground. Let us ask Christians to continue praying fervently for God's mercy to eradicate coronavirus. Wishing you blessings and protection. Take care and remain safe," the statement said.

Other additional safety steps are:

  • Lessen the hymns during mass (no entrance, Bible and offertory processions in order to avoid contact and respect the one-meter distance from each other)
  • The offertory should be done after communion prayer
  • Minimise the Sunday announcements
  • We encourage that mass readings and prayers of the faithful, except the Gospel, to be taken by only one person to avoid contact with the microphone
  • No greetings by hand during sign of peace
  • If possible, add the number of masses to avoid congestion
  • Where possible, encourage members to use paybill number
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So far in the country, seven people have tested positive for the virus that was first detected in December last year in Wuhan, China.

According to data from the Health ministry, 177 people have been tested and no deaths have been reported.

Tracking the coronavirus

To supplement ongoing efforts, the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) on Friday released Sh7.4 billion which will be used to buy medical equipment among others.

"That money goes to help our health facilities and our health workers," President Uhuru Kenyatta said.

CBK Governor Patrick Njoroge said the money was from the mop-up of the old Sh1,000 banknotes last year.