Singapore—Reverend Vincent Choo delivered his Sunday message via YouTube live stream on February 7, as The Life Church and Missions on Paya Lebar Road have temporarily stopped all English and Chinese services.
Reverend Choo said in his message, “This is not the Chinese, the Wuhan people’s fault. It is also not the fault of those who came to sit among us. In times like these… we must pray for the masses, we must pray for Singapore. We must pray for the hospital staff, we must pray for China.”
The church has been identified as one of the possible clusters in Singapore after five of the Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) cases in the country have been linked to it. This new coronavirus originated in Wuhan, a city in central China, and has since infected over 40,000 people around the globe, with a death toll of over 900.
At present, the country has 43 diagnosed cases of 2019-nCoV, with the Ministry of Health (MOH) reporting in its latest update that six individuals have fully recovered from the virus. Three new cases of the virus were confirmed on Sunday (Feb 9), all of whom have “no recent travel history to China”.
The 8th, 9th, 31st, 33rd and 38th cases of 2019-nCoV confirmed in Singapore are all linked to The Life Church and Missions Singapore at 146B Paya Lebar Road. Three of the cases are people who are known to the church either as members or regular attendees of the 100-strong congregation, while the other two, cases 8 and 9, were visitors three weeks ago.
They are a couple who are originally from Wuhan and who arrived in Singapore on January 19, in the early days of the outbreak of the virus.
Reverend Choo said in his Sunday message, “This is the biggest trial that our church has experienced in 17 years. Out of the five infected cases, we personally know three of them. The other two came to our church three weeks ago. We did not know them but they were reported to be from Wuhan and were sitting amongst us.”
The reverend asked the congregation not to blame the visitors or give in to the fear that the outbreak has caused.
He asked them to instead be thankful the couple from Wuhan had been led to the church. “Even though we did not know them, they came to our church because they wanted to know the Lord. So we should rejoice in that fact.”
He added that all the more, it is a time to pray for those who are suffering at this time.
Straitstimes.com (ST) quotes a spokesman from the church as saying, “We only learnt about their link with the church through official government reports.”
The spokesman added the temperature of people who attend the church services will be taken when the church opens for services and meetings again, in order to watch out for those who may be sick. Via email, the spokesman told ST, “We will also prepare masks for those who have the need for them.” -/TISG