KENYA: Spread Messages of Hope, not Despair, Bishop Obanyi Urges Media

NAIROBI, APRIL 3, 2020 (CISA)- Bishop Joseph Obanyi, Chairman of the Social Communications Commission of the Kenya Conference of  Catholic Bishops (KCCB) has called on mainstream and social media to refrain from spreading damning messages about the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The media should be the source of hope and preparedness, and not despair. We so far thank all the media channels for their persistence and effective publicity since the outbreak of this deadly virus,” he said in a April 1 press statement, where he also launched a Social Media Streaming and Networking Initiative by the Church in Kenya.

“I am today launching and highlighting the Catholic Church’s Social Media Streaming and Networking Initiative to join the rest of the media world in reinforcing positive messages and images on the spreading and curbing of the Corona virus pandemic. I am appealing to the media fraternity and their solidarity to do everything possible to stop the spread of the Corona virus,” he said.

The prelate who is also bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kakamega reiterated the commitment of the church in the fight against Covid-19, calling on clergy to cooperate with government and other sectors and avoid being the missing link in the fight.

“I also wish to categorically state that the Catholic Church is fully behind and supportive of the Government’s efforts and measures taken so far to sensitize the public and insistence on the precautions to be taken by all to curb the spread of the Corona virus,” he said.

“We appeal once more to especially our religious leaders and faiths communities to fully cooperate and not endanger any of their community members by attempting to congregate precariously. Let us all adhere strictly to the clarion call of social distancing and take the sanitary measures as prescribed by our public health officials. Religious leaders should be in the forefront to support these government initiatives and never at all be seen as the so-called ‘ missing link’,” he noted.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Kenya stand at 110, as at April 2 with three fatalities, and three recoveries.