Popular Christmas carol singing events by the Vaitele –uta Congregational Church EFKS and the Church of Latter Day Saints are uncertain over the measles epidemic.
The Ministry of Health is advising against congregating in public as part of national prevention efforts to control the spread of the measles.
The 13 Days Christmas carol singing countdown by the Vaitele-uta congregation has become a popular annual televised event.
Choirs are scheduled to sing, as a countdown in each of the nights right up to Christmas eve.
“Our organising committee is planning to call on the Director of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri, for his advice on what our best options are,” Ms. Tauvela Fagasua, wife of Rev. Minister Muao Fagasua of the Vaitele –uta congregation told Newsline Samoa on the phone yesterday.
“For now the intention is for the ’13 Days’ carol singing to go ahead as usual every year to celebrate the holy birth of baby Jesus,” she explained.
“At the same time the organising committee understands the concern for the epidemic and if the situation turns to the worse a week before the event it would be best to cancel.
“ Prevention is better than cure as they say.”
To date two of the invited choirs have pulled out, from the Don Bosco Technical College, Alafua and the A’ana No 1 Secondary School, Fagasua disclosed.
“ The schools wrote to us last Friday that they have decided to pull out in response to the advisory for schools to cancel graduations and prize givings.
“Schools are also encouraged to take an early holiday break for the end of the year.”
The church organised ‘13 Days’ include schools and Government Ministries in the selection of choirs to participate.
Fagasua said contingency plans are in place to cover for the schools pull out.
“As organisers we are not disappointed by we do feel for the schools who were invited in April, to give them time to prepare.
“For now we are moving along with the Ministry of Police set to start off the programme as well as other selected Government Ministries, who are adult groups.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints annual ‘8 Days’ Christmas carol singing countdown is also not sure about its options.
Church spokesman, Sapele Faalogo, said they are monitoring the epidemic closely with the recent update from the Ministry of Health showing more suspected cases of measles.