By Ononye VC
No fewer than 48,000 Coronavirus victims have reportedly died following infection by the novel pandemic ravaging the world.
This is happening as the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria(CBCN) led by Archbishop Augustine Akubueze of Benin Archdiocese in a Pastoral letter explained suspension of Liturgical celebrations in the wake of Covid-19 in parts of Nigeria which touches deeply on the faith of Catholics.
According to a 5 page Pastoral Letter titled,”Finding peace of Conscience in the suspension of Public Liturgical celebrations” issued to explain the reason behind the suspension,the CBCN reasoned among other issues that “in the current situation of Covid-19 that necessitates the imperative of Social distancing,it is in harmony with faith and reason to suspend Liturgical celebration”.
Meanwhile,the Metropolitan Archbishop of Onitsha,Most Rev Valerian Okeke urged Christians to come together in one accord to pray and seek the face of God to end the coronavirus Pandemic.
The Archbishop in line with CBCN resolution and in accordance with government directive,suspended public celebration of Holy masses throughout Onitsha Archdiocese effective from Monday 30th March 2020 through Sunday 5th April(Passion Sunday) to Sunday 19th April(Divine Mercy Sunday).
According to the Archbishop, the suspension include all weekday masses at all parish churches,oratories and chapels.
He requested all priests to still celebrate private Holy Mass in their parishes without the people and also pray for the people in these private mass.
The Archbishop also suspended celebration of stations of the Cross(including Good Friday ) with immediate effect.
He also directed that Onitsha Archdiocesan Secretariat be closed temporarily for any official business.
Meanwhile, the Coronavirus pandemic seems to have brought the entire world on its knees as the number of fatalities increase.
Reports say that as at Wednesday April 1st 2020,over 926,625 cases were recorded around the world while 46,438 victims died.
The number of recovered victims was put at 193,431.
In Nigeria, the number of victims have risen to 174 at press time with Lagos and Abuja recording the highest number of 91 and 35 cases respectively.
Anambra State has no recorded case yet.
In Nigeria, only two persons out of the 174 victims were said to have died.
The recorded number of deaths across the globe is as follows;
USA,4,697,Italy,13,155,Spain,9131, and China,3312.
Other countries are,Germany,909,France,4,032,Iran,3036,UK,2352,Switzerland, 488,Turkey,277,Belgium,828 and Netherlands 1,173.
Following widespread of the virus across the world,the Nigerian government has slammed a total lockdown on the federal capital city Abuja and Lagos just as many other states of the federation have done in order to contain the spread of the virus.
In Anambra state where there is no reported case,security operatives have been patrolling to enforce restriction on businesses while the major markets are closed in the major cities.
By Ononye VC