AFRICA/ZAMBIA - Various Church figures also affected by Covid-19

Wednesday, 27 January 2021 coronavirus   local churches   healthcare  

Lusaka (Agenzia Fides) - The spread of Covid-19 in Zambia does not stop, where three parishes of the Archdiocese of Kasama were closed for two weeks after priests and their lay collaborators tested positive for the virus. This was decided on 21 January "with immediate effect" by the Archbishop of Kasama, His Exc. Mgr. Ignatius Chama.
The parishes concerned are those of St. Margaret Mungwi, St. Kizito Henry Kapata and St. Peter's Luwingu. Those who visited priests and staff members infected with Covid -19 must "undergo tests for coronavirus", said Mgr. Chama.
As of January 26, Zambia had 47,622 cases of Covid-19 and 672 deaths. The Catholic community was also hit with the death of some charismatic personalities. On January 13, His Exc. Mgr. Moses Hamungole, Bishop of Monze, died in Levy Mwanawasa Hospital where he was hospitalized, following complications related to Covid-19. Bishop Hamungole had been very active in the field of communication media, since he was President of the Episcopal Commission for Social Communications and President of the Department for Social Communications of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA).
Another important figure in the field of communications of the Catholic Church in Zambia who died of Covid-19 on January 21 is Fr. Charles Chilinda SJ, director of Loyola Productions studio and Lusaka television station.
President Edgar Lungu recalled the Jesuit father in a message in which he acknowledges that with "Fr. Chilinda we have lost a devoted and selfless man of God". "The death of Fr. Chilinda is truly a severe blow not only for the Catholic community, the society of the community of Jesus, but for the whole country", says the Head of State. "On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zambia, the people and my staff, I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the Zambia-Malawi Province of the Society of Jesus".
His Exc. Mgr Patrick Chisanga Bishop of Mansa, President of the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) recently launched an appeal to the faithful to strictly follow the preventive measures against Covid-19 in particular in light of the spread in the country of the so-called South African variant of the virus (see Fides 18/1/2021). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 27/1/2021)