Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese extends health restrictions as COVID-19 situation worsens

The Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur announced that it is extending the suspension of all public religious services due to the growing number of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia’s capital city.

“The Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur has set up a crisis task force and has adapted to comply with current restrictions,” said Archbishop Julian Leow Beng Kim in a statement.

The archdiocese had suspended public Masses and liturgies before Christmas as authorities noted an increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

Malaysia’s health authorities reported 4,275 new coronavirus cases on Jan. 23, the highest daily infections so far, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 180,455.

The Southeast Asian country also reported seven new fatalities, bringing the total number of deaths to 667.

In the first week of January, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the adoption of stricter measures, saying that the country’s health system “is at the breaking point.”

On Jan. 12, King Al-Sultan Abdullah of Malaysia declared a “national state of emergency” and the suspension of parliament until Aug. 1, to combat the new wave of the disease.

The archdiocese’s task force has earlier provided several guidelines for parish territories that fall under its jurisdiction.

Agenzia Fides reported that all sacraments and ecclesial services including baptisms, except in emergencies, confirmations, Masses, and marriages have been suspended in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur as of Jan. 14, until further notice.

Only in emergency cases can the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, Confession and Viaticum be administered.

Funeral Masses are not celebrated in church. The short funeral rite can be held in church with the presence of a restricted assembly. “We continue to pray for all the victims of this pandemic, for the safety of all health workers, for the good and

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