Concerns have been raised about a recent outbreak of Influenza A in Malaysia and the more recent novel coronavirus epidemic, which is believed to have originated in the Wuhan, China.

In the light of the current crisis, the three arch/bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Peninsular Malaysia, Archbishop Julian Leow of Kuala Lumpur, Bishop Sebastian Francis of Penang and Bishop Bernard Paul of Melaka-Johor, would like to make the following pastoral recommendations to avoid the spread of infection:

A) Persons displaying flu-like symptoms, e.g. fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, cold, etc are advised to stay home and avoid public places including churches. For those not able to attend mass for these reasons, they are encouraged to make an act of spiritual communion (offer a prayer at home accompanied with a desire to be in union with the Eucharistic Lord).

B) Prayers should be offered privately and in parishes for all the victims affected by the above epidemic and for the medical staff tasked with their care and treatment. The following intention may be included in the General Intercessions,

“For the victims of the coronavirus, people affected by the quarantine and shutdown of public facilities, the medical staff tasked with the treatment and care of those who have contracted the virus, that God may protect them from further harm and grant those who are sick, swift recovery. We pray to the Lord …”

The local church will continue to closely monitor the development of the above situation in Malaysia and will issue further updates and guidelines, if and when it is deemed necessary.

The arch/bishops would like to call upon all the faithful to remain calm, to trust official announcements, and follow the general precautions issued by the Ministry of Health.