By Tracy Cabrera
The Department of Health (DOH) has also warned that church choirs could spread Covid-19 as churches prepare for Christmas masses. File photo shows a choir singing in a local church.
SAALE, GERMANY — A prominent German virologist from Saale (also Halle) in central Germany is urging a ban on singing in church at Christmas to prevent the release of coronavirus-carrying aerosols.
In a statement, Alexander Kekule, director of Halle University’s Institute for Medical Microbiology, warned that it would be better if the Creed and the Lord’s Prayer were all prayed in silence because reciting or singing both could trigger viral transmission to churchgoers and the clergy as experts have already pointed out that the novel coronavirus or nCoV is actually airborne in most instances.
“At most, saying the “Amen” at the end is OK,” he added in an interview by Focus magazine.
“If everyone is wearing a mask in church and there is a maximum of one person per five square meters, then worship services at Christmas are justifiable. But only if there is no singing,” he stressed.
Kekule’s remarks from the interview were reported by the German Catholic news agency Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA).
In his remarks to Focus, Kekule called for more guidance from government.
“We shouldn’t be leaving the churches on their own. The fear that we always must keep in mind is so-called super spreading,” the virologist enthused.
Karl Lauterbach, health affairs expert for the Social Democratic Party, agrees with Kekule.
“There must be clear rules for church visits. Distances and hygienic rules must be strictly observed. There should be no singing in church. Additionally, everyone must wear a mask,” Lauterbach pointed out.
He proposed that all churchgoers wear the higher-grade FFP2 mask and churches should have these available for every visitor.
But he also said that the best thing would be for as many people as possible to stay at home. “Churches should perform as many worship services online as possible,” Lauterbach concluded. (Source Union of Catholic Asian News)