This morning the Archbishop of Bombay led the Way of the Cross in the cathedral. The relic is a gift from the city of Brescia and the family of Paul VI. Maharashtra is the Indian state most affected by the coronavirus outbreak with 1,364 cases and 97 deaths.
The coronavirus is cutting income and consumption levels for many families and could have a greater impact than the 2008 financial crisis. Many countries could revert to poverty levels last seen in the early 1990s. Up to a billion people would be in "extreme poverty", with another four billion living on just US.50 a day.
India, a major producer of generic drugs, has started donating medical supplies to Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles, Mauritius and some African countries. It plans to export anti-COVID-19 drugs to the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, Spain, Germany, and Italy. So far, 5,734 cases have been reported in the country with 166 deaths.
In Ashgabat, a large sports festival was held with bike races, horses, gymnastics, acrobatic performances, judo and boxing. But the capital is surrounded by checkpoints. In Dushanbe protective masks have been handed out. In Kazakhstan prisons are affected by a viral outbreak. The liturgy of the "sacred fire" in Jerusalem has changed for Orthodox Christians.
Blue Marist Dr Nabil Antaki slams the punitive measures that hinder the fight against the pandemic. Today in Aleppo there are no ventilators and beds in intensive care units, essential if the virus spreads. In the city some people show COVID-19 symptoms but have tested negative.
The incentive is part of the $ 989 billion stimulus launched to avoid a recession. The government is also pushing to move production from China to Southeast Asia. The Japanese aim to reduce dependence on the Chinese market. Problems for future relations between the two countries. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has calculated that world trade will collapse between 13 and 32% in 2020 on the back of the coronavirus epidemic.
After 11 weeks of isolation, at least 55,000 people flocked to Wuhan station yesterday. The airport also newly operational with over 100 commercial flights. The border in Heilongjiang closed due to fears of "imported" infections. At present there are 1045 positive cases imported from different parts of the world.
The bipartisan movement calls for trade and easing of sanctions. To overcome the Covid-19 threat, divisions between governments must be overcome. In the Islamic Republic mosques and mausoleums transformed into centers for the production of masks and sanitary material.
The Pope will not celebrate the chrism mass today, instead it will take place once the crisis is over. There will be Mass in Coena Domini, but without the washing of the feet. Tomorrow, the Via Crucis will be in St. Peter's square. During the Holy Saturday Vigil, at 9 pm, no baptisms will be celebrated. At Easter he will pronounce the message Urbi et Orbi and impart the Easter blessing before the altar of confession.
The European members of the 17+1 group are dissatisfied with their "privileged" relationship with Beijing. Their trade deficit with China (US$ 75 billion) is growing. Chinese investments are going mostly to the wealthiest countries of the Old Continent. Czech President Zeman slams the Belt and Road Initiative. This should be a warning for Italy.
The Poor Clares are asking God to provide consolation to the sick, doctors, nurses, volunteers and all those fighting the virus. They also offer fasts and sacrifices. The isolation in which people find themselves is similar to the Sisters’ normal life of seclusion. People of different religions pray in unison for the end of the epidemic.
The incident occurred in Maumere, Flores Island, where a ship was not allowed to dock. After 19 hours of negotiations, those on board were allowed to disembark, sent to local quarantine facilities. Indonesia’s Health Ministry imposed a partial lockdown on Jakarta.
In Syria churches are closed, masses and celebrations forbidden to the faithful who follow the functions "in their thousands" online. The illusion of the end of the conflict and the new health emergency, now "everything has stopped once more". Rediscover the value of the domus ecclesiae and the centrality of the sacraments.
Violent crackdown against pro-democracy protests sinks trust in the police. Almost 500 officers resigned during the months of protest. Since June 2019, more than 7,600 people have been arrested, 17 per cent under the age of 18.
Easter is the feast
of tombstones taken away,
rocks rolled aside.
God takes away even the hardest stones
our hopes and expectations crash: