The Zambian government have mandated churches across Zambia to restrict worship time to a maximum of two hours in other to curb the cholera outbreak.
The directive, issued by Ndiwa Mutelo, a high-ranking official overseeing religious affairs, also prohibits the sale of perishable and ready-to-eat foods within church premises.
“To further minimize the risk of disease transmission, worshippers are strongly advised to refrain from handshakes and hugs,” he said.
In an official statement, Mr. Mutelo emphasized the importance of maintaining hygiene within worship centers, stressing that churches are now required to provide safe drinking water, designated hand washing points, and make available alcohol-based hand sanitizers to their congregants.
He added that the urgency of these measures is underscored by the significant cholera outbreak in Zambia, with more than 7,800 reported cases since last October.
Over the past 24 hours alone, the health ministry has recorded over 400 new cases and 18 fatalities.
This latest intervention aims to mitigate the impact of the cholera epidemic, emphasizing the collective responsibility of religious institutions in safeguarding public health.