The Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa (UPCSA) Moderator Rt Rev Dr Peter Langerman called for a day of fasting and prayer on 11 January after an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases in the countries that UPCSA is active in. This second wave of COVID-19 infections, hospitalisations, and deaths had claimed the lives of some UPCSA ministers and afflicted many families. The churches were asked to pray and fast for the healing of those infected, and for a speedy rollout of the vaccine in these countries. South Africa’s Health Minister had earlier announced that 1.5 million doses of the vaccine would arrive for health workers this month, even as a new coronavirus variant began to spread in South Africa.

Image caption: At the Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, South Africa, a volunteer receives an injection from a medical worker during the country’s first human clinical trial for a potential vaccine last June. Image by Siphiwe Sibeko, Reuters