A number of Catholic church services catering to Filipinos in Taiwan have been temporarily suspended or churches have implemented special measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
From yesterday, St Christopher’s Church in Taipei, which sees more than 1,000 Philippine churchgoers daily on weekends, is to be indefinitely closed for pastoral and social purposes.
Father Edward Pacquing, the church’s parish priest, said that it is a preventive measure after an undocumented foreign caretaker was confirmed as Taiwan’s 32nd case.
Pacquing was referring to an Indonesian woman, who was hired to care for an older man. She was on Wednesday confirmed to have COVID-19, a few days after the man was diagnosed with the virus.
“This is for the benefit of the majority of our local and global community,” Pacquing said.
Perla Lupo, a Philippine member of the church, said that she agreed with the temporary closure.
“When we protect ourselves we are not protecting solely ourselves, but we are also protecting others,” she said. “The lesser the infections, the better care [those with the virus] can have.”
All public Sunday Masses under the Hsinchu Diocese — Hsinchu City, Hsinchu County, Taoyuan and Miaoli County — are also to be suspended, the diocese said in a statement on Thursday.
Among those is Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Taoyuan’s Jhongli District (中壢), which is to suspend Mass on Sundays (10:30am, 12pm, and 6pm) indefinitely beginning today, said the Hope Workers’ Center, a mission that supports migrant workers.
Meanwhile, Tanzi Catholic Church in Taichung is to hold Mass, but worshipers would be required to wear a mask, and have their temperature checked and hands disinfected upon entering the church, Father Joy Tajonera said.
St Joseph the Worker Parish in Kaohsiung’s Nanjhih District (楠梓) and Holy Family Catholic Church in Tainan’s Shanhua District (善化) are implementing similar measures.
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