By Agnes Chai
KOTA KINABALU — The Church is seriously pitching in to contain the new Sabah outbreak of COVID-19 that erupted across the State in the past fortnight or so.
Following the ban on inter-district travel by the authorities Oct 3 in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, the Head of the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, Archbishop John Wong advised the parishes to consider suspending Masses for two weeks.
The advisory to the clergy and parish councils was made out of concern for the safety of the parishioners, as well as to make a common effort to reduce the spread of cases across the districts.
Though the Archbishop has generally left it to the discretion of the parish priests, he hoped that the concern for the common good would prevail.
At press time, parishes from Likas, Penampang, Papar, Inanam, Telipok, Dontozidon, Bukit Padang and Karamunsing have suspended Masses, as well as curtailed planned programs such as pre-marriage courses and Confirmations.
Meanwhile, the Sabah Council of Churches (SCC) in a communiqué has also strongly encouraged member churches to close their weekly worship services for two weeks. However, for those who choose to hold Sunday services, the SCC president, Bishop Rev Dr James Wong advised strict adherence to the SOP precautionary measures required by the government.
“Let us continue to pray for the government to be able to contain the spread of the COVID-19,” urged the SCC president.
He cherished the hope that the churches would be able to play their role in curbing the spread of the virus, while at the same time helping the needy during this difficult period.