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In quick reaction to the Ebola scourge plaguing the nation, the Catholic diocese of Makurdi has taken some precautionary steps to curb the spread of the virus.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the traditional sign of peace which involves a handshake usually has been suspended. The mode of dispensing communion has been altered from the usual placing on tongue, the communion bread will now be placed on the recipient’s hand.
However, what will raise eyebrows more is the fact that the diocese has now placed a ban which restricts bereaved members of the church from bring the corpses of their loved ones to the church during funeral mass. The diocese now advocates that corpses should be buried immediately and have made it clear that corpses will ONLY be received in the church on the singular condition that those in grief can produce a death certificate from the appropriate medical authorities which will ascertain the deceased didn’t die of the Ebola virus.
The Director of Communications in the diocese, Moses Iorapuu made this disclosure in Makurdi on Saturday. He was speaking on behalf of Bishop of Makurdi diocese, Athanissius Usu.
“We hope that with these preventive pastoral and standard procedures and with prayers and steadfastness in responsible behavior, the Lord will keep this virus away from us.
“We also encourage personal hygiene, washing of hands regularly, clean environment and eating habits. “We urge you not to ignore government’s advice and other official statements on how to prevent the outbreak of Ebola virus,” he stated.