Statement on Coronavirus (Covid-19)

The Zimbabwe West Union Conference (ZWUC) of the Seventh-day Adventist church notes with great concern, the imminent threat on health and livelihood caused by the continued spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19) across the world.

In recent days, cases of infection have been reported in South Africa, heightening fears of the virus entering Zimbabwe.

The mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church involves the promotion of good health and a healthy lifestyle. The General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist church has already issued the following guidelines on how members of the church community should behave in light of the virus, within the limits of the resources available to them:

  • Frequently clean hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Coughing and sneezing etiquette: Sneeze into the folded arm; cover your cough. Take masks with you when travelling. Should you encounter situations where people cough and sneeze and are in close proximity, have no hesitation to use your mask (airports, airplane cabin, lobbies, malls, student classes, and other gatherings, etc.)
  • Maintain social distancing – at least 3 feet or I meter between yourself and other people. Avoid close contact with those who cough or sniff
  • Avoid touching/rubbing your eyes, nose and mouth
  • If you develop a cough and experience changes in your breathing, seek medical help early and share your travel history with the health care provider
  • Avoid open markets
  • Careful food safety practices (well-cooked food, clean produce, pasteurized milk)
  • Do not avoid the flu vaccine travel advisory
  • Avoid travel to endemic areas

The Health Ministries Department at ZWUC is also recommending the following guidelines, within the limits of the resources available to SDA Churches and SDA Church organisations :

  • Adequate provision of water and running taps at all Adventist church facilities.
  • Provision of hand sanitizers and soap strategically placed in all facilities.
  • Encouragement of hygiene practices such as
    • washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and drying them thoroughly
    • use of hand sanitizers after touching surfaces and the
    • regular washing of hands throughout the day by all members and visitors to all Adventist church facilities.
    • Carrying and use of tissue to catch coughs and sneezes and disposal of used tissue in litter bins.
  • Constant verbal announcements in churches and schools to share preventive information.
  • Thorough cleaning of facilities prior to meetings.
  • Keeping a distance of at least a metre from people who are coughing and/or sneezing.
  • When unwell, staying away from church, school or work and seeking immediate medical attention.
  • For churches and other church organizations to be prudent in the running of any “necessary” meetings that precautions are adhered to.

ZWUC thus stands guided by these guidelines and implores all members of the Adventist community in Zimbabwe to be vigilant, to take note of, and to put into practice these guidelines for the benefit of everybody but always, within the limits of the available resources.

Furthermore, ZWUC is mindful of and supports the measures taken by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Health and Child Care to manage and prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus into Zimbabwe. To this end, ZWUC will continue to respond to such guidance as may be availed by the Government of Zimbabwe through its relevant structures.

ZWUC also notes the importance of taking great care in managing institutional facilities such as office complexes, schools, churches and health facilities. ZWUC is communicating the necessary sanitary measures that all institutional facilities should put in place, within the limits of the resources available to them. This should progressively ensure that a safe environment exists for employees, clients, students and visitors to our facilities.

In the case of events, such as outings, camps, conferences and outreach campaigns, where such cannot be postponed, ZWUC advises that organisers of such events factor in reasonable measures within the limits of the available resources,  necessary to mitigate the risk of the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, our prayers and thoughts of concern go out to those who have been affected by the virus.

For more resources from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, kindly visit the following links:

  1. General Conference Adventist Health Ministries Coronavirus Update
  2. Southern Africa Indian Ocean Division Statement on Coronavirus:
  3. Information regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19) – Adventist Risk Management

Micah Choga
Zimbabwe West Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists