KENYA: Religious Leaders Present Proposals to Guide Reopening of Places of Worship

NAIROBI, JUNE 6, 2020 (CISA)-Religious Leaders in Kenya have presented the government with a proposal for safe re-opening of places of worship in the context of Covid-19 pandemic.

In the document, the clerics have committed to abide by the health measures put in place by the government and the World Health Organisation in combating the spread of Covid-19.

“These public health guidelines are a product of a consultative process of religious leaders and health security experts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” reads part of the draft guidelines dated May 30.

According to the document, clerics will provide hand washing facilities and sanitizers at the entrance to places of worship, and provide visual displays of advice on physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. To achieve physical distancing, congregants will seat or stand at least 1.5 meters apart and will be encouraged to sit with their family unit during the service.

The clerics will also identify a room or area where a person could be safely isolated temporary if he or she becomes ill or begins to develop symptoms during service and notify the nearest health facility or call the toll free lines provided by the Ministry of Health.

They acknowledge that masks are a protective measure thus will highly encourage congregants to cover their mouths and nose except for children younger than 2 years.

In the event their proposals are adopted, the elderly, those with underlying health conditions like diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, cancers and other chronic diseases will protected by being advised to follow the proceedings of the service online from home. This will also apply to those who have symptoms related to Covid-19.

“Religious leaders will protect their members from becoming infected by avoiding practices involving touching of such surfaces, objects or people,” they said pledging to create and help congregants to accept new ways to help minimize community sharing of materials and items.

Every house of worship has been encouraged to put measures in place to monitor temperature of people coming to houses of worship and those with temperature reading 37.5 degrees Celsius or more will not be allowed to enter in the place of worship.