KENYA: Interfaith Council Urges Elderly, Sick to Wear Masks Despite Lifting All Restrictions on Places Of Worship

By Odiwuor Opiyo

NAIROBI, OCTOBER 18, 2022 (CISA) – The Interfaith Council for National Response to CoronaVirus Pandemic in a statement dated October 18, has advised ‘the elderly and the sick to continue using masks,’ despite providing indications that all COVID-19 restrictions are lifted as part of the Phase 4 guidelines.

The guidelines issued by the council include the resumption of all worship arrangements to normalcy as per each faith tradition with “each worship centre to determine how to regulate on use of masks or hand-washing going forward.”

The council appealed to citizens to remain vigilant even as the threat of the pandemic is decreasing. The council whose mandate has come to an end also called for solidarity among the people reiterating that “the well-being of our brothers and sisters depends on us and vice versa.”

The Interfaith Council for National Response to CoronaVirus Pandemic was tasked with addressing the possible threats posed in places of worship and give guidelines on how they can be mitigated.

“We as the interfaith Council wish to thank all Kenyans, who in spite of the sacrifices it entailed, complied by and large, to the guidelines and indications given by this interfaith council. At times it meant heroic forgoing of some important aspects in the distinct worship styles, of diverse Faith Traditions. Please accept our respect and appreciations, which is yet another witness of depth and faith in God in Kenyans,” the October 18 statement read in part.

The council thanked all religious leaders from various faith groups who supported and implemented the guidelines, with a special mention to the County Interfaith Covid committees that took the initiative to regulate, address and solve any emerging issues at the grassroots.

“Never have the different faith traditions and religions felt so close and united for a common cause. We have had wonderful experiences of mutual respect and working relationship and which brought to life, very comprehensive and insightful guidelines,” said the Interfaith Council.

The council, which was instituted during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration, lauded the efforts of various government offices and Cabinet secretaries who facilitated and supported their mandate.