Accra, 04 March, 2020 / 10:55 pm (ACI Africa).
Informed by reports of the rapid spread of coronavirus around the world including Africa, the Catholic Bishops in Ghana have, in a collective statement, called on Catholics in the West African country to take preventive measures that would save them from contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
In particular, the Bishops have asked Catholics to receive Holy Communion in the hand instead of the tongue, a move similar to that taken by the Archbishop of Nigeria’s Lagos Archdiocese where the first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, was first confirmed in sub-Saharan Africa.
“All are encouraged to receive Holy Communion in the hand,” reads part of a statement by the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) seen by ACI Africa correspondent in Ghana.
In the Tuesday, March 3 statement signed by GCBC President, Archbishop Philip Naameh, the Prelates direct the Ministers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion “to wash their hands or use sanitizer before and after distributing Holy Communion.”
“Avoid handshakes and embracing one another during Kiss of Peace,” the Bishops have urged in the three-page statement issued in consultation with the Health Directorate of the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS).