In the wake of the presidential speech on the 15th we have decided to place all of our corporate meetings on hold until further notice. This means we will not meet on Sundays for Bible hour or Sunday services. We will also not have Bible studies during the week. We will use the schools as our measure to determine when we start to meet again. To date the schools have been closed for the next two weeks and so we will follow them in this.
We feel that this measure is the responsible thing to do so that we may do our part in keeping this virus from spreading to more people in our country. 

To date the corona virus has led to the death of 8790 people globally. This may sound high but it’s only 4,1% of everyone who have tested positive. To put this into perspective, MERS which is also a strain of the corona virus has a 34,4% death rate.
In Italy where the virus has had the most severe impact thus far there has been more than 2500 deaths. This is out of 31 500 confirmed cases. This is a 7,9% death rate.

But an important thing to note here is that 99% of those who died had a preexisting condition and the median age of those who died is 79,5.  
Here is an excerpt from an article in Bloomberg news, 99% of Those who Died From the Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says.

The Rome-based institute has examined medical records of about 18% of the country’s corona-virus fatalities, finding that just three victims, or 0.8% of the total, had no previous pathology. Almost half of the victims suffered from at least three prior illnesses and about a fourth had either one or two previous conditions.
More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.
Threat to the Elderly
The median age of the infected is 63 but most of those who die are older. The average age of those who’ve died from the virus in Italy is 79.5. As of March 17, 17 people under 50 had died from the disease. All of Italy’s victims under 40 have been males with serious existing medical conditions.

Here’s the reason we all want to make an effort to do our bit to curb the spread of this virus. To most of us this virus is no more serious than your normal flu, but we live in a country with poor health and sanitation, a limited healthcare system and a population where the majority have preexisting medical conditions like Aids, TB, Diabetes and are Malnourished.  

Loving your neighbour as yourself means doing your utmost to not be part of this problem but be part of the solution. And so we want to take the precautions laid out by our government serious for the sake of our neighbours.
God expects us to obey the government and He expects us to love our neighbours. 

If stopping our services and bible studies seem extreme to you, as it did to us at first, be assured that this is the least we can do to be part of the solution. Now is the time to keep your eyes and ears open for opportunities to serve others. There will be many who will lose their income during this time. Many will suffer under a fear of death. May God present you with opportunities to do good to others in whatever way you can. 

Now, we will keep ministering to you during the next two weeks by loading our sermons onto our webpage and we will stay in contact with each other through our Grace News group on whatsapp. Please feel free to contact anyone of us for anything you may need.

With love and devotion
GFS Leadership