By Ivy Chai
KUCHING — Kuching has reverted back to a Red Zone under the country’s latest COVID-19 updates. Archbishop Simon Poh of the Archdiocese of Kuching has issued an immediate temporary suspension of all Catholic Masses and activities for Churches in the Red Zone until further notice.
Parishes affected are those in Kuching, Kota Sentosa and Kota Padawan, but the suspension will also extend to outstation Churches in Bau and Serian.
“We have seen the recent drastic and alarming increase of COVID-19 cases, linked to several popular and commonly frequented places in Kuching. There are now more persons being in close contact with COVID-19 positive persons, as well as widening circles of second and even third level contacts through their respective family members, business acquaintances and social networks.
“Although we do not have any reported cases of close contact with COVID-19 positive persons in our church, we are committed to help contain its further spread,” said Archbishop Simon, in a pastoral letter to the Catholic community on 28 October.
The SOPs recently published for visits and blessings of Catholic cemeteries and the columbarium at St Peter’s Parish the weekend preceding to, and on All Souls’ Day to be celebrated on 2 November, are now void.
Archbishop Simon Poh is asking Catholics from Kuching city to refrain from travelling back to their respective kampungs/home villages for All Souls’ Day. His advice is to postpone their planned visits to a later date, preferably after mid-November.
He urges everyone to work hand-in-hand with the State Disaster Management Committee to contain this new wave of COVID-19.
1 November – All Saints’ Day (Sunday) Mass
8.00 am (ENG); 9.15 am (CHI); 10.30 am (BM)
2 November – Blessing of Cemetery & All Souls’ Day Mass
Church offices will remain open during office hours for parishioners.