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Prayer Day Set for India

Church leaders in India have set a day for prayer and fasting as the country continues its battle against Covid-19.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India issued a call to hold a day of prayer and fasting on May 7th seeking divine intervention to save the country from the debilitating pandemic which already infected 18 million, reports UCA News.

In a letter, CBCI president Cardinal Oswald Gracias said, “We are recording around 300,000 new cases of coronavirus every single day. The second wave has hit us like a tsunami and we are yet to reach the peak.”

We all need to join hands to extend all cooperation to the government and other agencies to fight the pandemic. — Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu, chairman of the Indian bishops’ healthcare commission

“Added to this is the apparent lack of planning, resulting in a shortage of hospital beds, antiviral drugs, oxygen and vaccines. It could get worse before it gets better,” he warned.

The cleric reminded people to follow Covid-19 protocols being implemented for more than a year. In addition to the proper wearing of face masks, hand washing, and observing physical distancing, citizens are urged to follow restrictions and curfew hours to help curb the spread of the deadly virus.

On April 22nd, the country conducted 1.6 million tests across the country and recorded 332,348 positive Covid-19 cases. The number could be higher since many people with symptoms are not taking the test nor going to the hospitals. India’s Supreme Court called the second wave of the pandemic as “a national emergency-like situation.”

Health facilities in India are overwhelmed that medical experts have advised those infected with Coronavirus to treat themselves at home. Patients with severe symptoms have died due to shortage of medical oxygen or lack of ICU beds and available doctors.

Latest records show 3,500 deaths in one day that officials in the capital city of Delhi were urged to look for more sites for cremations since the city’s morgues and crematoriums are also overwhelmed by the number of dead bodies to cremate.

Despite the grim situation in the country, “Christians are making a difference,” wrote Finny Philip, an evangelical leader in Northern India.

Philip shared that Christian hospitals remain open to serve people. The church has launched several programs to help people mostly affected by the pandemic. Christians have set up food banks, offered financial assistance for medical treatments, purchased oxygen cylinders, organized free ambulance services and provided aid for burial expenses.

“It is a time we need to untidily fight against our enemy rather than blame anyone at this juncture,” called Archbishop Prakash Mallavarapu, chairman of the Indian bishops’ healthcare commission. “Now our people are dying. We all need to join hands to extend all cooperation to the government and other agencies to fight the pandemic.”

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