Photo: theSundaily

By John Isaac

July 28 2020

THE Catholic church have decided to further reduce by half, the number of parishioners allowed to pray in churches, in view of the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Kuching and Samarahan.

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuching Simon Poh said he has also issued a memo to all churches under the Kuching archdiocese to ensure that the safety standard operating procedure (SOP) is strictly adhered to.

“The seating arrangement in the church has been further spread out. A single pew of ten-foot long will now only be allowed to seat two persons from three previously while disinfection of the church is dutifully carried out after every mass,” he told New Sarawak Tribune today.

He was asked to comment on whether the Catholic churches in the city will be closed in view of the increasing Covid-19 cases in Kuching.

“During the live streamed Mass on this Sunday, I have requested our priests and parishioners to be prepared to follow the mass online.

“This is in anticipation of the suspension of congregational Mass should Covid-19 cases continue to rise over the next few days,” he said.

Archbishop Simon also urged everyone to play their role as frontliners to contain the second wave of the virus.

“It is important to minimise travel back to the rural communities that are currently in green zones to protect our elderly and those in the villages,” he said.

Meanwhile, several Anglican churches in Sarawak have suspended their congregational worship services due to increasing number of Covid-19 cases in Kuching and Samarahan beginning today until further notice.

The affected parishes are the St Thomas Cathedral, churches in Kenyalang, Samarahan, Batu Kawa, Tabuan Jaya, Tabuan Dayak, Stampin, Sion Kandis, Sungai Maong, Taman Malihah, Matang, Quop, Taee, Bengoh, Bunuk, Padawan, Lundu and Bau Mission District.

“The churches will resume services depending on the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advice I suppose when the situation is under control,” Bishop of the Anglican Church in Sarawak and Brunei Right Reverend Datuk Danald Jute said. – The New Sarawak