Tuesday, December 7

Covid-19: Anglican church services in Sarawak, Brunei suspended temporarily

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Church services have been suspended throughout the state due to Covid-19 concerns. File Photo

KUCHING: The Anglican churches in Sarawak and Brunei will be suspending all church services from March 15 till April 1 this year as concern mounts regarding the recent developments surrounding the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19).

Bishop of the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei, the Right Reverend Datuk Danald Jute said in a statement last night (March 13) that this will be a temporary measure while waiting for further advice from the authorities.

“In light of the increasing number of cases of Covid-19 infections in Sarawak and Brunei, and having taken into consideration the latest advisory from the Ministry of Health, along with professional views expressed and conveyed to us, we have decided to temporarily suspend our Sunday and weekday church services effective this Sunday, March 15 till April 1, 2020.

“There is no need to panic. On the contrary, let us each draw ever nearer to God in fervent prayers, for His healing power,” he said.

This was in view of the sudden spike in infections among Sarawakians according to a statement from the State Disaster Management Committee, with three confirmed cases announced yesterday.

The Committee has also come up with an advisory stating that all events organised by the government involving more than 250 participants must be postponed.

Bishop Danald said the Anglican churches in the state as well as Brunei are encouraged to conduct live-streaming of their church services through various Internet platforms, with a small number of congregations present in the churches.

Meanwhile, Association of Churches in Sarawak chairman Archbishop Simon Poh said he has instructed that all gatherings, church events and seminars in Sarawak be cancelled.

“Today we cancelled about 20 scheduled events for this month.

“This is in addition to the cancellation of events and the current precautions that have been implemented since late January 2020,” he told The Borneo Post.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuching also said that his church will be making its decision on church mass cancellations some time next week.

“Many of our precautions were in place for the whole month of February and will continue to be intensified over this weekend.

“By the middle of next week, the Sarawak Catholic Bishops of Kuching, Sibu and Miri will take further steps,” he said.