Nigeria: Catholic Church takes measures to prevent Ebola

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - With Africa's most populous nation in the grip of fear over the spread of Ebola virus disease, the Catholic church in Nigeria has taken measures, including skipping the traditional rite of peace during Mass that involves shaking hands of fellow congregants, to prevent the spread of the disease.

The local media Sunday quoted the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Adewale Martins, as saying in a statement entitled: The Outbreak of Ebola Virus – a pastoral approach, that the rite is optional.

“Taking into consideration the fact that this rite is optional, we shall henceforth omit it i.e. not invite people to offer the sign of peace. When you get to this rite, skip it,'' Martins said.

The Archbishop told priests to maintain the traditional hand to mouth method of giving Holy Communion until a decision is reached on the issue next week, when the bishops of the province meet.

He, however, advised them to be mindful and not to allow their hands touch the tongues of recipients.

Martins said holy water bowls usually placed at the entrance of churches should be discontinued to contain the spread of virus.

Priests were also advised to maintain extra caution when making sick calls at home and in hospital and they should ensure that they wash their hands with anti-bacteria hand wash and sanitizer after performing the rite of anointing of the sick.

He also directed priests to ensure that those responsible for counting offerings where protective gloves.

According to the WHO, Nigeria has recorded two deaths and 13 cases of Ebola, since a Liberian infected with the disease died in the commercial city of Lagos 25 July.

The disease has killed a total of 961 people in 1,779 cases in four West African countries - Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria, WHO said.
-0- PANA SEG/AR 10Aug2014

10 august 2014 21:18:29

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