Kuching back in red zone: Catholic church suspends services temporarily

Archbishop Simon Poh – Picture from Herald Malaysia

By John Isaac

WITH Kuching reclassified as a Covid-19 red zone, the Catholic Archdiocese here has announced that all daily, Sunday masses and services in parishes in the red zone will be temporarily suspended effective today.

In a statement yesterday, Archbishop Simon Poh said this affects parish communities in Kuching, Kota Sentosa, Kota Samarahan and Kota Padawan.

He added that parish churches in the yellow and green zone will remain open for Sunday masses and services and all parish offices will remain open to serve Catholics.

“I exhort everyone to stricty adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that are currently practiced in all our churches and offices.

“This will ensure our churches are kept safe for public viewing,” he said as reported in the Borneo Post.

Poh called on to all Catholics to be socially responsible by wearing masks in public, practice proper hand-washing as well as social distancing and to bring along their hand sanitisers and surface disinfectant.

He also appealed to Catholics to take responsibility by donating to the Catholic Welfare Services (CWS) or charities, remain kind and considerate to one another and pray and intercede to society.

“Let us do our part to contain Covid-19 and get out of the red zone so that our churches can resume masses even earlier, especially before the Feast of Assumption weekend on Aug 15,” he added.

On Tuesday, State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas announced that Kuching had reverted back to red zone status, with 21 recorded positive cases out of a total of 25 cases in Sarawak.

He added that Serian and Lundu districts turned from green to yellow zones as the former recorded two cases, while the latter recorded one case.

Aside from Serian and Lundu, Samarahan and Bau districts were also deemed yellow zones – bringing the total number of yellow zones to four.

No new cases were recorded yesterday, with the total number of cases remaining unchanged at 677.