Indonesia's COVID-19 cases rise to 232628, death toll now at 9222

Face masks may be more effective than a COVID-19 vaccine according to top health official in the US

Face masks may be more effective than a COVID-19 vaccine according to top health official in the US

Paul Van Noy, a senior pastor at Candlelight Church in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, has been receiving treatment in a local hospital for the past two weeks, after testing positive for Covid-19.

Ministry coordinator Eric Reade is reported as saying that five other church staff were infected with coronavirus but have all recovered.

Van Noy's wife, Brenda, also got the coronavirus, but was recovering when she wrote on Facebook earlier this month that she hadn't "taken this Covid seriously enough".

"I am watching in prayer that there are no new cases and we can all be back together - worshiping together as called - very soon", Van Noy wrote in the update.

His wife also contracted Covid-19 but wasn't hospitalized, according to the church. The church has been closed for two weeks and reopened on Sunday after "deep cleaning", Reade added.

About 60 people from several churches gathered in a parking lot outside Kootenai Health last weekend to sing and pray for Van Noy's recovery.

Villagers who refuse to wear masks are being forced to dig graves for victims of COVID-19 by local authorities in one part of rural Indonesia, in the hopes that a little bit of manual labour and empathy will convince others to do their part to help stop the pandemic.

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"Praying for a miracle", she wrote. While he said the virus is real, Van Noy argued the threat had been overhyped.

"Multiple internationalstudies have shown that wearing masks, paired with persistent social distancing, are the most effective ways to prevent transmission of coronavirus".

According to The Telegraph, Indonesia's government has been criticised for its handling of the virus, by people who say officials responded to the country's COVID-19 outbreak too slowly.

"I have said here at Candlelight, 'If a person wants to wear a mask they should be allowed to do so". Pray for those who have lost loved ones because of this EVIL virus!'

This Sunday, the church plans to host radio preacher and Bible prophecy expert J.B. Hixson as guest preacher.

Van Noy and the Candlelight Christian Fellowship has invited McCoy and one of his followers, Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, to speak at the Idaho church on September 27. McCoy's congregation has been holding indoor services since May, despite California COVID-19 restrictions.

"There are only three available gravediggers at the moment, so I thought I might as well put these people to work with them", he told Tribun News, translated by the Jakarta Post. "They wanted the community to know that Christ is critical and essential and they wanted to testify that no matter what it would cost them, even if they were going to be berated and maligned".

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