Panaji, March 14 (IANS) Taking precautionary steps in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, the Roman Catholic Church in Goa, on Saturday, issued an advisory asking coronavirus positive people not to attend public functions, including religious prayers.
It also urged priests to clean their hands with water or sanitiser before distribution of the Holy Communion.
The advisory, endorsed by the Archbishop of Goa, Daman and Diu Filipe Neri Ferrao, also urges the Catholic flock to not shake hands and offer a namaste instead. It also urged them not to kiss the holy cross on Good Friday to prevent spread of infection.
“If anyone has had contact with a person, diagnosed with coronavirus, please ask them to temporarily avoid coming to public functions where many congregate, for at least two weeks,” the advisory states.
“On Good Friday, at the Veneration of the Cross, discourage people from kissing the Cross. The blessing with a raised Cross would be adequate. Those who desire could come in a queue, make reverence with a bow and go back. Holy water stoops may be kept dry,” it said.
The advisory would be in place till Easter Sunday (April 12).
Catholics account for nearly 26 per cent of the state’s 1.5 million population. The advisory comes hours after Chief Minister Pramod Sawant made a public appeal to all religious heads in the state to urge their followers against mass congregations.
Goa has registered only one coronavirus positive case.