Zimbabwean Clergy Wants PPEs For Presiding Over Covid-19 Burials

Family members and funeral workers in a protective gear, carry the coffin of nurse Duduzile Margaret Mbonane who died from COVID-19, during her funeral, in Thokoza east of Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, July 23, 2020. One of the country's nurses was buried Thursday, the latest of more than 5,000 infected health workers across South Africa. Mbonane died just a month before her retirement, her husband said. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

MEN and women of cloth have expressed their desires to be fully equipped with Personal Protective Equipment for use when presiding over Covid-19 related funerals.

In an interview after an online workshop attended by various pastors from different local denominations and groups, Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) secretary general Reverend Kenneth Mtata said during the pandemic, the clergy was also performing a national duty.

“We just had informative conversations around how pastors can participate, conduct and lead funerals and support families that are grieving in ways that keep them safe, that also keep the congregants safe,” Mtata said Wednesday.

“We think that pastors provide a leadership to our nation at a moment when many, many people are very, very vulnerable.

“We want to appreciate and we want you to realise that you are shepherding the church but you are also shepherding the nation and we pray that you take that as a national duty to be accompanying the nation at a moment like this.

“A number of issues came out including the need for us to revisit the way we conduct our funerals, the need for pastors to have adequate PPEs.

“The need for a conversation on vaccines because there is a lot of misinformation that we need to address; stigma, that we need to confront false information.”

Mtata added, “To make available services like psycho-social support for pastors who are dealing with families that are going through grief in society.

“We need also to make sure the Ministry of Health and ZRP attend to funerals so that they can enforce some of the Covid-19 regulations.

“We need to escalate our moments of prayer together, to reflect to God so that we become a source of encouragement to a worrying nation.”

Zimbabwe, just like many other world countries, battles a devastating Covid-19 menace that continues to claim many lives among locals.