COVID-19 UPDATE: Nairobi Catholic Archdiocese suspends Sunday Schools, limit Mass to one hour

A Catholic Mass. The Archdiocese of Nairobi has suspended Sunday Schools and limited Masses to one hour in bit to fight COVID-19./COURTESY

The Catholic Church, Nairobi Archdiocese has suspended all Sunday schools and Children (PMC) Masses due to the Coronavirus.

In a circular sent to all Priests working in the Archdiocese of Nairobi, the church also limited the Masses from the normal two hours to one hour.

“Lessen the hymns during Mass (No entrance, Bible and offertory procession in order to avoid contacts and respect one meter distance from one another),” read the circular in part.

The church also changed the order of Mass. The offertory will now be done after post Holy Communion prayer to avoid chances of coming in contact with the virus during communion.

“We encourage the Mass readings and prayers of the faithful except the Gospel to be taken by ONLY one person to avoid contact with the microphone,” it continues to read.

As directed by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), there will be no greetings by hands during the sign of peace.

“If possible add the number of Masses to avoid congestion,” the Archdiocese directed.

Churches have also been asked to reduce Sunday announcements which usually come at the end of the Mass right before getting the final Blessings.

“Please take any precautionary measures according to the situation on the ground. Let us ask our Christians to continue praying fervently for God’s mercy to eradicate the coronavirus in our midst and the whole world,” said the Church.

COVID-19 situation in the world

So far, more than 286,950 people have been infected with virus. At least 11,980 have died while more than 93,600 of those infected have recovered.

More than 181,400 are currently infected with about 8,000, which is four percent, being in critical condition. More than 105,400 of the infected are close cases (i.e. the 11,980 who have died and more than 93,600 who recovered from the virus).

China, where the virus originated from, still leads in the number of cases at 81,008 followed by Italy at 47,021. However, Italy has the highest number of deaths resulting from the virus at 4,022 followed by China at 3,255.

In the East African Community, Rwanda leads with 17 cases followed by Kenya with seven cases then Tanzania with six cases. Uganda is yet to report any case of the virus. None of them have reported any deaths resulting from the virus.