Cyprus Mail

Coronavirus: Medical association says coronavirus highly contagious after health workers call for churches to open

A priest in Larnaca during a service held with no members in the congregation

The Cyprus medical association (CyMA) was forced to put things into perspective on Monday regarding the high contagiousness of the coronavirus after 152 doctors co-signed a letter asking the president to allow people to attend church and receive Holy Communion.

The health professionals argued that the ban on church attendance “deprives people of their sole source of spiritual consolation, an element which is perfectly intertwined with the spiritual and mental health of each and everyone.”

They added that there was no scientific article or research proving that bacteria and viruses are transmitted through the Holy Communion.

In a letter in response on Monday, CyMA noted that high contagiousness was one of the key characteristics of the pandemic and that was why restricting gatherings slowed the spread of the disease.

“This key restrictive measure is all the more valuable when it comes to places where elderly people gather, who are part of the vulnerable groups and whose condition is often accompanied by chronic ailments,” the association said.

Everyone’s main concern was the protection of people’s health, including the clergy, and the faithful, especially those belonging to vulnerable groups, it added.

The main requirement is to gradually restore normality and economic activity safely, CyMA said.

“As the state authorities have correctly announced, restrictions will be gradually lifted and easing would be accompanied by strict hygiene rules, social distancing, and a monitoring mechanism,” the association said.

“CyMA agrees and supports this position, stressing that easing restrictions must take place with due diligence and taking into account the scientifically backed guidelines and successful planning of other countries which are ahead in tackling Covid-19. These plans and the citizens’ behaviour would be decisive criteria in the next phase, to prevent the possibly resurgence of the pandemic in Cyprus.”


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