Nairobi, 24 March, 2020 / 7:00 am (ACI Africa).
The immediate closure of all places of worship in Kenya was among the raft of measures the government announced Sunday, March 22 in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 after the confirmed cases of the deadly virus increased more than twofold from 7 to 25, while in neighboring Tanzania, the country’s President was reported encouraging public worship.
“Let us not forget that Italy began its unfortunate experience through the decision of some people to continue attending gatherings, including religious ones, as if nothing had happened,” Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary of Health, Mutahi Kagwe said Sunday, March 22 during a press conference.
He slammed religious leaders in Kenya for allowing the faithful to congregate despite warnings against the same and termed the move irresponsible.
“On Sunday (March 22), Italy lost 784 people within 24 hours. We will not escape a similar fate if we do nothing to address the risk in such gatherings,” Mr. Kagwe said during the Press Conference.
Bishops in Kenya had, in their collective message dated March 19 announced that Churches would remain open for public celebration of Holy Mass, a move that attracted both praise and condemnation from the faithful as the government put in place measures to control the possible spread of COVID-19, including the suspension of public gatherings.