4 Catholic churches in Singapore visited by Covid-19 cases

SINGAPORE – Four Catholic churches here have been visited by people who tested positive for Covid-19, posted the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore on its website on Thursday (July 29).

They are: the Church of the Holy Spirit, the Church of the Holy Cross, the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St Anne’s Church. The visits took place between July 18 and 25.

The archdiocese said: “In all cases, the persons involved were asymptomatic. All affected churches are working with the relevant government agencies to identify those who have been exposed and to activate the necessary precautionary measures.”

It added that everyone has to remain vigilant and work together with church authorities to ensure the churches are safe places for worship.

“We would like to take this opportunity to advise all our faithful to take care of their health, and if they are unwell to refrain from attending masses and seek immediate medical attention.”

Those who are unwell can watch the daily online mass broadcasts instead, it noted.

It will not be making further comment on the cases. The four churches made separate Facebook posts on the details of each case.

Father Henry Siew of the Church of the Holy Cross said on its Facebook page that the individual who tested positive for Covid-19 attended the 7.30am mass on July 25 and is fully vaccinated.

She was likely infected at a market she visited earlier, he added.

“Worshippers who were in the same zone were contacted and placed under home quarantine order on July 28,” he said.

Meanwhile, an individual with Covid-19 attended mass at St Anne’s Church at 1.30pm on July 25. She was believed to have been on church grounds since noon that day.

“Professional deep cleansing of our church will be done on Friday (July 30) to ensure that our church remains safe for all to worship (in),” the church’s parish priest, Father Jovita Ho, said on Facebook.

He added that the church has submitted the names of the parishioners who were there between noon and 2.30pm on July 25, including attendees, volunteers and ministry members.

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Those present at the time should monitor their own health and seek immediate medical attention if they show symptoms, the Facebook post said.

“All elderly parishioners, especially those unvaccinated, are also advised to attend online mass instead during phase two (heightened alert),” it added.

Over at the Church of the Holy Spirit, a Covid-19 case attended the 11am mass on July 18. He is fully vaccinated.

Father Kamelus Kamus said in a note to parishioners that the Ministry of Health (MOH) has contacted and placed all who were seated in the particular zone on quarantine till Aug 1.

The church will also undergo sanitising and deep cleaning on Friday (July 30). It was cleaned previously on June 4.

Father Paul Ngo from the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary said a Covid-19-positive individual visited the church on July 25 for the 5pm mass.

All parishioners exposed to the affected person were contacted by MOH and isolated.

The church has since been deep-cleaned as well.

Churches have opened progressively since July last year. People are able to book masses online using a mass attendance registration system.

Mass capacities will be capped at up to 50, or up to 100 persons per mass in August, depending on the type of mass, the archdiocese said on its website.

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