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COVID-19: Archbishop Ibezim Suspends Use of Common Cup for Communion

By Izunna Okafor

As part of measures to curtail the spread of Corona Virus, also known as COVID-19; the Archbishop, Province on the Niger and Bishop of Awka Diocese (Anglican Communion), Most Reverend Chibuzor Alexander Ibezim has suspended the use of common cups for Holy Communion in churches under his jurisdiction.

This was contained in a statement released form the office of the Archbishop on Thursday night, in which he also lauded the Anambra State Government under Governor Willie Obiano for its Public Health Advisory and Safety Tips regarding the pandemic disease, which he said the church is consummately adhering to.

He said the diocese would reduce its public activities in line with the state government's directive, but when unavoidable to hold a public function like ordination service, the church would minimize the activities associated thereto, and deploy all public health known procedures to safeguard peoples health.

He however called on Anambra state government to ensure that a quarantine center is ready and conducive for any case of emergency situation of coronavirus.

Ibezim informed the Church would ensure members and guests wash their hands, with soap and water as well as use hand sanitizers.

He suspended hand shaking, hugging and all other forms of contact salutation in the church for now. He appealed to the congregation not to shake hands during the sign of the peace.

Archbishop Ibezim said all missionary schools in the diocese shall adhere to all health advisory by the WHO and other health organizations.

The Niger Province Archbishop further said that the decision to ban flights from 13 countries in including  China, US and Uk is long over due ,but now it has been announced, he hailed the decision because Nigeria's culture and tradition will make the COVID 19 virus a serious pandemic if its weight is unleashed into Nigeria.

"So, the best option is to ban flights from counties with high records of the virus since preventive measures is better than fighting the epidemic.

"Let the visa ban be effected completely until four weeks as announced by Federal Government. Let no one sabbotage the efforts of the FG to contain the virus spread.

"The land boarder should also be shut since an American who came in through the boarder has been tested positive of the virus," Ibezim said.

He further advised the FG to announce a total ban on foreign trips to all the countries of the world and not only to hard hit countries ,until the scourge is contained.

The Anglican prelate warned against playing politics with the CONVID-19 virus lamenting that after the closure of land boarders against importation of food items, the Federal Government opened floodgates for coronavirus into the country by allowing all manner of people enter the country unchecked.

He called on Christians to be fervent in prayer as there nothing God cannot do.

On her own part, the President, Mother's Union, Women's and Girls' Guild, Province on the Niger , Anglican Communion, Mrs. Chioma Martha Ibezim has asked mothers to see the Coronavirus epidemic as a wake up call to take personal hygiene seriously.

She encouraged mothers to stay healthy and happy always to safeguard their families out of numerous viruses plaguing the country like Lassa fever which has claimed over 161 people in Nigeria according to Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu DG of NCDC.

She further raised the alarm that with 3,735 suspected cases of Lassa fever, and a total of 906 confirmed cases , families are endangered and women should brace up to the challenge to avert unnecessary death.

"I commend women for standing against acute malnutrition by engaging in all forms of jobs to ensure their families eat," she said.

She further urged them to monitor their children to ensure no signs of the various ailments plaguing the nation affects them undetected.

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