COVID-19: Catholic bishops of Africa compose prayers against virus
The Catholic bishops of Africa have raised concerns over the growing number of deaths from Coronavirus in Africa and the rest of the world.
The bishops who spoke under the aegis of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) also composed prayers that the faithful could pray against the virus.
This was contained in a statement signed by its president, Cardinal Philippe Quedraogo and its Secretary, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo, after the meeting of SECAM’s standing committee members held in Nairobi, Kenya, between March 4 and March 7, 2020.
It was made available to journalists by the Communications Officer of SECAM Secretariat in Accra, Ghana, Faustina Angmor.
The bishops in the statement also advised the public to adhere strictly to the instructions being given by both the civil and ecclesiastical authorities regarding the novel coronavirus.
The statement said, “We express our sympathy for and solidarity with those who are infected and affected by this strange epidemic and pray that an effective and affordable treatment of this disease may soon be found.
“In the meantime, we strongly urge our people to adopt the highest level of preventive measures to curb the spread of this disease.
“We also ask that they pray for those infected and affected by this disease and for a quick end to the scourge of the coronavirus,” the statement said.
The bishops also suggested prayers that their faithful could say for a quick end to the virus thus:
“Almighty and merciful Father, who shows your love to all creation, we come before you asking for a quick control of the Coronavirus currently ravaging our world.
“Hear graciously the prayers we make for those affected by the virus in various parts of the world.
“Grant healing to the sick, eternal life to the dead and consolation to the bereaved families. We pray that an effective medicine to combat the sickness be speedily found”.
“We pray for the relevant Governments and Health Authorities that they take appropriate steps for the good of the people. Look upon us in your mercy and forgive us our failings. We ask this through our Lord Jesus.’’
No fewer than 3,000 people worldwide had died from COVID-19 and no fewer than 100,000 others had been infected in no less than 45 countries across the world.
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, on Monday at a news conference at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, announced a second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Nigeria.
The minister said that the second case of the novel coronavirus is a contact of the index case found in Ogun.
The coronavirus was confirmed in the Chinese city of Wuhan on Jan. 7, 2020 and other cases had since been confirmed in over 80 countries across the globe.
The World Health Organisation, WHO, had since declared it a public health emergency of international dimensions.
WHO chief, Tedros Ghebereyesus, said while China had a robust health system to detect and control, his outfit remained concerned about the virus entering countries with weak systems.
Almost all African governments had publicly put in place strict screening at points of entry especially at their airports. Cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Senegal and Nigeria.
SECAM is the continental body of all the Catholic bishops from the English, French and Portuguese speaking regions of Africa. (NAN)