The outbreak and fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) has informed the decision by the leadership of the Pentecost International Worship Center (PIWC), a local assembly of The Church of Pentecost in Koforidua in the Eastern region to adjust the process of serving communion.
Normally, during communion, the sacramental bread is put on a plate where members queue to hand pick in turns together with disposable cups filled with the communion wine.
Pastors and Elders of the Church are positioned to extend a handshake of congratulations to individuals who made it to the Lord’s supper.
However, this process was changed Sunday, March 1, 2020, when the District Minister, Pastor Musah Yahaya announced to the Church that due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in other countries, a decision has been taken to use toothpick to pick the Sacramental bread to the congregants whilst suspending handshakes.
He explained that, though Ghana has not recorded a case of coronavirus, it is imperative that proactive preventive measures are adhered to ensure that Ghana does not record any case.
Pastor Musa Yahaya prayed that God immunes Ghana once again from this pandemic just as He protected the country during the scourge of ebola outbreak.
Globally, about 3,000 people have died from the fast-spreading virus that reported to have originated in China in December 2019, out of 88,000 people infected in 54 countries.About 42,700 have however recovered.
China alone has recorded nearly 80,000 cases of the virus since the outbreak began. Several European countries announced new cases.
In Ghana, all suspected cases recorded so far have tested negative.
The novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.
According to the World Health Organization(WHO), Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people.
Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.