Singapore (Agenzia Fides) - In the fight against the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), the Archdiocese of Singapore has decided to suspend the celebration of all Masses on Sunday and weekdays from February 15th until further notice. The Archdiocese - which includes 32 churches - has warned parish priests and lay communities that all other public events involving large numbers of people, such as faith formation meetings, retreats and seminars, should also be suspended. At the end of last month, the Archdiocese had already exempted those who were sick or had flu-like symptoms from attending Mass.
In a letter sent to Fides, the Archbishop of Singapore William Goh recalls that in recent weeks the local Church has been working to minimize the risk of spreading Covid-19 outbreaks in its institutions and among priests, inviting to measure people's temperature. However, this measure is not a fool-proof screening tool, as even asymptomatic people can be carriers of the infection.
The Archbishop underlines that the suspension of Masses does not mean that Catholics can feel exempted from the fulfillment of their main religious obligation, and adds that they can follow the broadcast of the Mass on YouTube or on the CatholicSG Radio mobile application. He therefore invites us to pray for this virus to be contained and eradicated, and also for those on the front lines - doctors and nurses - who are putting their health at the service of the sick.
For weddings and funerals, these are considered private services which means only invited guests can attend. Arrangements will have to be made with the parish priests, following all precautionary measures according to the Catholic Medical Guild.
Until February 14, 67 confirmed cases of Covid-19 had been registered in Singapore. Of these, 17 were discharged from the hospital while another 6 remain in the intensive care unit and are seriously ill. (SD) (Agenzia Fides, 15/02/2020)