By Paule Valérie Mendogo
Faced with the spread of the new coronavirus, Cameroonian Bishops call on the faithful to respect preventive measures.
Cameroon, like many other countries in the world, has embarked on measures aimed at preventing the spread of the new coronavirus. Based on measures announced by the government, Cameroonian Bishops have invited their faithful to respect the new rules in place.
The prelates have urged the faithful to pray fervently as families and as individuals for the virus to end. They have also encouraged Christians to adhere to the constant washing of hands; reception of Holy Communion in the hand and the temporary suppression of the gesture of peace by physical contact during Mass. Pastoral visits, solemn celebrations of Palm Sunday and Holy Week, as well as other general events such as Diocesan Youth Days and diocesan pilgrimages, have all been suspended until further notice.
Churches remain open but the Church leaders are urging reduced numbers at Mass as well as social distancing.
“We must avoid everything that brings us into close contact with others…We are in a delicate situation because of the pandemic. As for the reception of the Body of Christ, it will now be done in the hand,” said Archbishop Samuel Kleda of the Archdiocese of Douala.
Archbishop Kleda took to the streets of Cameroon’s economic capital, Douala, this week, carrying the statue of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. The Archbishop, accompanied by some priests, went around city streets reciting the rosary.
For his part, the Archbishop of Bamenda and Vice-President of the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, Andrew Nkea, also appealed to the faithful of the country to pray so that the fight against the pandemic would be won.
At least 66 people in Cameroon have tested positive for COVID-19. Authorities are monitoring the situation and are not ruling out the possibility of a total lockdown.
On Tuesday, this week, Cameroon was mourning one of its most famous sons, Manu Dibango, the 86-year-old African jazz legend who died in Paris after contracting the new coronavirus.