Two weeks after the Catholic Church suspended handshakes and hugs during service, The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has taken the same measure to check the spread of coronavirus.
The church announced the suspension in a statement issued by Gershinen Dajur, its general secretary, on Thursday.
It also asked that the practice of sharing one chalice during “holy communion” should be put on hold to reduce the risk of infection.
Since its outbreak in China in December, the virus has killed about 5,000 persons, with at least 134,000 infected.
Nigeria currently has two cases. An Italian imported the virus into the country in February.
Dajur said the leadership of the church has also directed that water and soap for washing of hands as well as hand sanitisers should be made available during services or events.
“Let the church be encouraged to trust God who is well able to help us in our times of trouble (Psa. 46:1). This is the time to trust and obey God than to be anxious and panic (Phil 4:6-7),” the release read.
“Since this virus is communicable, the church is to prayerfully put on hold the sharing of one chalice to all during Holy Communion. Other smaller communion cups should be used for individual communication.
“Also, handshakes and hugs during the exchange of peace should be substituted with non-contagious gestures such as hand waving, mutual bowing, or making the sign of the cross etc.
“Let everyone be encouraged to observe a good personal hygiene through proper washing of hands with soap or hand sanitizer; covering of mouth with handkerchief when sneezing or coughing etc.“
The church added that while appropriate measures should be taken at all times, the faithful must not “oversimplify, underrate, overrate, overreact or over spiritualise” the issue of the virus.
Signup for FREE news updates, latest information and hottest gists everyday/Advertise on NigerianEye.com