KENYA: Government Extends Mandate of the Interfaith Council for Coronavirus Response

Inter-Faith Council Meets President Uhuru Kenyatta

By Njoki Githinji

NAIROBI, JANUARY 26, 2021(CISA)-The government has extended the term for the Interfaith Council for National Coronavirus for a further six months as the country pushes to contain the second wave of coronavirus infections.

Thanking the government for extending the term, Chairperson of the council Archbishop Anthony Muheria in a January 25 press release noted that “the fight against the Covid pandemic is not over, and that we have yet to fully graduate in the phased reopening of places of public worship.”

Expressing optimism on the waning of the second wave of Covid-19, the Archbishop stressed that efforts to overcome the virus should continue regardless.

“We happily note that the strength of the second wave of the pandemic seems to be waning. The numbers of the daily new infections now come down to under 200 and the number of daily deaths to under 10.This is good news, but it should not make us relent in the measures to fight this virus,” he said.

He cautioned places of public worship against reduced efforts in adhering to preventive measures noting that carelessness may be costly.

“While most places of worship have adhered strictly to the guidelines, we have seen several who are adamant and easily flout the guidelines, and in this way endangering the congregants. The statistics may give a picture of reduced Covid spread but we must bear in mind that an avoidable infection and possible death of a single congregant is one too many,” he said.

“We are nevertheless looking at the reports and analysis from the Ministry of Health so as to graduate further in our phased reopening of our places of worship,” he added hinting at possible full resumption of public worship.

The prelate also called for measures to be put in place so that students can resume weekly worship in schools.

“…in many schools a fitting solution has not been found for learners to attend their weekly worship. This spiritual support is crucial in their fragile state and we hope that regular worship can resume with the necessary precautions,” he noted.

He also noted that Sunday schools, madrassas and other religious learning for children can resume starting January 25 with strict adherence to Covid-19 prevention guidelines “after due consideration of the compliance in our places of worship and the experience in schools.”

“Special care and attention should be given to assist and guide the children to follow the indications of wearing masks and social distancing throughout the sessions,” he advised.