COVID-19 CONTROL

SDA suspends church services, health staff put on alert

Appeal to members to worship in the family homes; continue to pray for the country.

In Summary

• The church's hundreds of schools in the region are also closed as part of the broader efforts aimed at combating Covid-19.

• The leadership urged faithful to observe hygiene by washing hands with soap, minimise group interactions and stop further meetings. 

Kisii Region Office of the Seventh Day Adventist Church
SERVICES HALTED: Kisii Region Office of the Seventh Day Adventist Church
Image: MAGATI OBEBO

@magatinews

The regional leadership of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Kisii has suspended church services across the region.

Church officials have also placed doctors working in its mission hospitals on high alert against the coronavirus.

South Kenya Conference President Julius Bichang'a told the press that at least 60 nurses and doctors at the church's Nyanchwa Adventist Hospital in Kisii have  been trained on emergency response to coronavirus. 

The church has asked the government to facilitate training for medics in both private and mission hospitals to be able to respond to the Covid-19 emergencies.

"We are requesting that the national government funds the training of the health personnel working in the private sector as well," Bichang'a said.

More staff will be trained in the coming weeks if the situation worsens, Bichang'a said.

"We have procured protective gears from Finland which may serve the hospital for the coming three months," he said.

The mission hospital has set up a four-bed isolation unit, he said. 

"For now, we appeal to all our members to worship at the family or home churches and continue to pray for the country.

He added, "The world is at crossroads and as a church, we have a duty to pray." 

The SDA church commands the largest membership in the region with thousands attending services every Saturday for Sabbath worship.

The church's hundreds of schools in the region are also closed as part of the broader efforts aimed at combating Covid-19.

By Wednesday, the disease infections had jumped to 28 after President Uhuru Kenyatta announced that three more people had tested positive.

The church leadership urged faithful to observe hygiene by washing hands with soap, minimising group interactions and stop further meetings. 

"We are doing this hoping it will be momentary as we wait for the infections to ebb,"  Bichang'a said. 

Separately, Catholic Priest Lawrence Nyaanga urged the government to conduct swoops on chang'aa dens.

Nyaanga cited Kiogoro and Bobaracho in Kisii Central subcounty as hotspots where brewers were doing brisk business.

"These brewers are making a mock of the orders the government made to stop haphazard gathering which may predispose people to coronavirus," Nyaanga said.

He asked the government to task chiefs to ensure no brewer is allowed to operate in the face of the growing Covid-19 pandemic.

(edited by o. owino)