COVID-19: A church in Kerala's Kottayam live streams Sunday Mass

Kottayam (Kerala) [India], Mar 15 (ANI): Many churches in Kerala are taking the online option to livestream the Sunday Mass to enable the faithful to avoid public mingling in the light of an advisory put out by the state government against holding public events to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Lourdes Forane Church in Kottayam live streamed the Mass through its Facebook page, YouTube channel and on its mobile application.

Fr. Joseph Allunkal, assistant Vicar of Lourdes Forane Church told ANI that the decision was taken after the government advised the public to avoid public gatherings.

"As we can't ask people not to come for Sunday Mass, the best possible solution was online streaming. There was a good response to the move," he said.

He said the decision was taken also keeping in mind the elderly and children. He said, "The district health officials had advised to keep the number below 100. Also, people above 60 are more prone to be affected and it is difficult to make children follow all health guidelines."

"We asked people in these age groups to attend Sunday Mass online. We have also increased the frequency of the Sunday Mass to split large gathering," he added.

According to official estimates, the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in India touched reached 107 on Sunday, with Kerala reporting 22 positive COVID-19 cases.

The disease which originated in China's Wuhan city in December last year has so far spread to more than 100 countries, infecting over 1,30,000 people.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic. (ANI)