No time to relax on safety: Archbishop

The Archbishop of the Catholic Church in Samoa, Alapati Lui Mataeliga, has urged Samoans to continue praying and not take safety for granted. 

This is despite the relaxation of the state of emergency (S.O.E) orders by the Government announced last Saturday.

In an interview with Samoa Observer, the Archbishop welcomed the decision by the Government but urged the public to remain cautious. 

“Everyone should still be alert every time, and most especially, never forget your prayers to Him who has given us the strength to continue living free from this deadly virus,” he said.

“I also give my big faamalo (congratulations) to our Government for the decisions regarding the S.O.E orders that has so far kept us safe.”

The new amendments to the S.O.E orders included schools reopening but with a requirement to observe social distancing requirements. Church services have resumed but been limited to only one Sunday service on Sundays.

The S.O.E should be seen as an opportunity to reunite as a family, the Archbishop said, especially for parents and children who rarely have time to communicate due to several reasons.

“Everything should start from the families and that involves safety precautions and everything else,” he added.

“Even with the new amendments to the orders, we should still continue to be alert at all times, keep praying as it’s the most paramount [thing we can do], and consider advice from the authorities and the Health i[Ministry] in order to maintain our health.”

With schools and churches reopening starting this week, social distancing has been prescribed by the Government at a safe distance of two metres. 

But several breaches of that policy were observed in schools on Monday and around churches on Sunday.

For primary schools, years two, four, six and eight are to attend schools from Monday to Wednesday while other year levels are to attend only on Thursdays and Fridays.

These measures are to remain until the Government and the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C) makes any further changes.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, a teacher at Magiagi Primary School, who did not want to be identified, said the staff is trying their best to secure students’ safety.

“We’re following instructions by the Ministry and the Government and we’re doing all we can to make sure social distancing is maintained at least,” she said.

“Once again, everything we do should be about prioritising our safety so I merely advise everyone to just stay safe and not be too confident of our nation not having any confirmed cases,” the Archbishop said.



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