Over 100 priests belonging to the Church of South India (CSI) have contracted Covid-19 after they attended an annual retreat from 13 to 17 April at CSI Christ Church in Munnar last month. The concerned priests had travelled to Munnar from the LMS Church in Thiruvananthpuram in a bus.
Requests were reportedly made to postpone the event and sources from the church quoted in a The New Indian Express report claimed that Covid-19 protocols were violated in the meet.
However, the priests had also been warned of disciplinary action if they refrained from attending the retreat. Moreover, two priests named Rev Bijumon and Rev Shine B Raj have also succumbed so far.
“The annual retreats of Central Kerala diocese and Kochi diocese were also scheduled last month and they were postponed due to a surge in Covid cases. But CSI South Kerala held the retreat secretly at Munnar without informing the government,” Joint Christian Council member Jacob Mathew told the publication.
He added, “As per the government instructions, only 50 people are allowed in a conference. But here all safety guidelines went for a toss.”
Many of the infected priests have been admitted at Dr Somervell CSI Medical College Hospital at Karakonam whereas the others are undergoing home treatment.
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