KENYA: Interfaith Council Issues Guidelines as Public Worship Resumes in Five Counties

By Rahab Kuria

NAIROBI, MAY 7, 2021-(CISA)-The Interfaith Council on Covid-19 has issued new guidelines with regard to the places of worship following Presidential order made on May 1 lifting lockdown restrictions in five counties.

“The president has graciously lifted some of the restrictions in the Counties which were under restriction of movement the counties were: Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Machakos and Kajiado.  We are glad to note that the daily Covid cases have reduced, the prevalence rate fallen to around 12% and the total Covid load in the Country substantially reduced. We celebrate that churches can resume in person worship in this zoned areas. However, we are still in pandemic due to this reality we are giving some indications,” reads a May 4 statement signed by Archbishop Anthony Muheria, Chairman of Interfaith Council.

In response to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s orders allowing the resumption of in-person worship with a limited one third attendance, the council stressed that, “…the one third capacity of the places of worship can be achieved by strictly adhering to the 1.5m social distancing without any extra persons standing or sitting in the corridors.”

“Worship services should last no longer than 120 minutes. Common use of water or shared items must be avoided, sanitizing of all microphones, washing of hands with soap and proper sanitization before and after the service,” the council said, adding that the faithful should strictly wear their masks at all times in the worship service.

The council also urged religious leaders to give the people hope in these diverse circumstances.

“We continue to urge you remain vigilant to the dangers this pandemic still poses even as the restrictions are lifted. We ask you to remember especially those still ailing from Covid, those who have lost their loved ones, and those still struggling with the economic effects of the virus. We also remember those in other Countries like India, who are in a major Covid crisis. Our prayers are with all these families,” the statement added asking Kenyans to raise prayers more intensely to God asking for an end to this pandemic.

The council applauded health workers who for the past 14 months have worked tirelessly and in dangerous environments of infections.