Muheria: Children can now attend services
Places of worship have been given the go-ahead to resume Sunday school classes, madrassa and other religious learning gatherings for children.
The Inter-Faith Council for National Response to Corona Virus Pandemic chaired by Nyeri Catholic Archbishop Anthony Muheria told the religious institutions that they are free to resume religious learning but cautioned them to ensure protocols and guidelines issued by Ministry of Health (MoH) to stop the spread of coronavirus are adhered to.
Refused to adhere
This came even as Muheria, who hinted on further the reopening of places of worship, raised concerns that some religious institutions had refused to adhere to set guidelines thus endangering congregants.
According to him, although the strength of the second wave of the pandemic seems to be waning as the daily new infections have come down to under 200 and the number of daily deaths to fewer than 10, this should not be taken as a licence for Kenyans to relent in the anti-Covid measures.
“We can resume the Sunday schools, Madrassas and other religious learning gatherings for our children, within our premises as from Monday January 25.
“Religious leaders are to ensure the same guidelines, applied to place of worship will be followed in the gathering of children,” said Muheria in the statement.
The guidelines they want adhered to include ensuring there are enough hand-washing or sanitising stations, taking the temperatures of every attendant, ensuring masks are worn properly, keeping social distance of 1.5 metres, avoiding hand-shaking, sharing of materials and crowding.
In the statement to newsrooms, council also said it is in consultation with MoH and the Ministry of Education to ensure children access religious services in schools within established guidelines.
Muheria said it is regrettable that in many schools, a fitting solution has not been found for learners to attend weekly worship despite the re-opening of schools early this month.
According to him, spiritual support for the learners is crucial and thus insisted on the need for such lessons to resume with the necessary precautions.
“The opening of our schools marked a new phase in the return to normalcy. We have had three weeks of learning without major incidents.
We are, however, concerned in many schools, a fitting solution has not been found for learners to attend weekly worship,” he added.
Last year, the council announced new guidelines for the re-opening of the churches including curbing the age limit of congregants from six to 65 years.
Wedding populations were capped at a maximum of 50 people with food only served to the nuclear family.
Religious gatherings were directed not to last more than 90 minutes.