Anglican hierarchy in Ghana takes steps to prevent Coronavirus infections
The hierarchy of the Anglican Communion in Ghana has joined other Churches by taken bold steps to advise members of its congregation in the Internal Province of Ghana on preventive measures against the spread of the Coronavirus also known as Convid-19.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo an address to the nation on Wednesday, March 11 evening called on churches, universities and other groups that organise events that host large gatherings to put in mechanisms to protect people in the face of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and asked Ghanaians to desist from the traditional handshaking as a form of protection.
Amidst the call by the Ghana President, a letter dated March 9, 2020, and signed by the Archbishop of the Internal Province of Ghana, Most Reverend Professor Daniel Yinkah Sarfo, to all Bishops in the dioceses in Ghana, cautioned members of the Church on two key practices that drew congregational members closer and for which the virus could easily spread with its damning consequences.
The areas for observation included the greetings of peace and the mode of receiving communion by members of the congregation in the Church.
The Archbishop said, “as result of the outbreak of the coronavirus, we need to adhere to best caution from experts as we did during the outbreak of the dreadful Ebola disease”.
The church management said “in the course of singing, or saying the mass and we get to the Kiss of Peace, members should not shake hands or embrace. Rather they should bow to their brothers and sisters near them”.
The letter further instructed an extension of the observations to include avoiding hand shakings at funerals “we should also avoid shaking of hands at funeral, we should cultivate the habit of washing our hands thoroughly with soap and disinfectants at all times and we should cover our mouth and nose whenever we cough or sneeze”.
According to the Archbishop, the mode of receiving communion should also differ slightly from the normal administration of communion in the Church.
“I suggest that the priests who are celebrants should distribute the communion by ‘intinction’. This will prevent the habit of everyone drinking from one cup”.
Prof Sarfo assured members of the Anglican Communion that the Church “shall revert to the normal practice of receiving communion when the threat of the virus is fully eliminated”.
The leader of the Internal Province appealed to members of the church to adhere to the instructions, adding that “let us come together and adhere to these measures for good health care”.