The Archdiocese of Blantyre has now an isolation Centre for priests and Nun’s in the wake of covid-19 pandemic, the Vicar General, Rev. Father Boniface Tamani has revealed.
He made the revelation on Tuesday when the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) donated face masks to the Archdiocese to be used by priests and nuns as they discharge their pastoral duties.
The house has been identified within the James Chiona High school premises near Limbe Cathedral in Blantyre.
Fr. Tamani said the decision was arrived at after observing that priests and nuns are also vulnerable to the pandemic due to the nature of their jobs.
“Priests and Catholic Nun’s work directly with parishioners and we needed to find a special place,” he said.
The Vicar General added that those priests and nuns that will be found positive will be treated at the facility.
He said it is important to ensure that the clergy have a conducive environment to ensure that they are not infecting parishioners once they are found positive.
“We have managed to furnish the house with all the required medical facilities that are in line with the preventive measures for covid-19 pandemic, according to World Health Organizations (WHO) recommendations,” he said.
He also said the facility is well equipped as it has enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) for medical team to be working at the facility.
”As an Archdiocese we are prepared in terms of the welfare of priests and nuns as well those patients that surrounds our hospitals,” Father said.
The Vicar General also disclosed that the Archdiocese has used about USD $15,000 (10 million Malawi Kwacha) to furnish the house, with part of the funds from the Catholic secretariat.
”As an Archdiocese we don’t have a specific budget for covid-19 pandemic, but currently the National Secretariat have been helpful and we still ask well-wishers to help government in an effort to fight the pandemic,” he added.
In the same vein, the Vicar General commended the CWO for the donation which will be used by priests during their services.
”The CWO’s role need to be applauded as this will help the Archdiocese in an effort to fight the pandemic, especially to clergy,” he said.
He said the priority groups to benefit from the masks will be those that are most vulnerable to the pandemic like the elderly among others.
The CWO National chairlady who is also the Chairperson for Blantyre Archdiocese Mrs. Lucy Vokhiwa said as an arm of the Church, it is good to help the Archdiocese to fight the pandemic.
”Looking at the needs of the Church in the fight against the pandemic, we thought of donating these items to the Archdiocese, and we will do the same to other parishes,” she said.
She added that there is no need for parishioners to be barred from meeting the clergymen due to lack of protective gear. She therefore said apart from donating these items, the CWO is also intensifying the campaign to sensitize the communities on the need to follow preventive measures in their localities.
”We have noted that many people especially from the rural areas are living in denial about the pandemic so we are reaching out to them through our local committees,” she said.
Mrs. Vokhiwa said apart from masks, they have also donated cartoons of laundry soap to be used during the period.
As of Friday May 29, reports showed that the country has registered a total of at least 203 positive cases with 37 recoveries and 4 deaths. On Thursday May 28 alone, the number of cases spiked with 102 cases.
While this increase is attributed to hundreds of Malawians who returned from one of the hardest hit countries by the pandemic on the continent, South Africa, during the week, health experts are worried that there is a larger number of virus carriers given the poor planning and management of the pandemic displayed by government so far.