The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has suspended handshakes during church service as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The Church’s General Secretary, Gershinen Dajur made the announcement on Thursday, March 12.
He stated that the leadership of the church has directed that water and soap for washing of hands as well as hand sanitisers should be made available during services or events.
The statement reads in part: “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).
“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.”
He urged all members to observe good personal hygiene by washing of hands with soap or hand sanitizer and covering of mouth with handkerchief when sneezing or coughing.
Recall that the Catholic Church also suspended handshakes and hugs during service two weeks ago.
Since the outbreak of the virus which has killed over 4,000 people worldwide, Nigeria has recorded only two confirmed cases.