Despite nine years of war, Syria seems to be most effective at dealing with COVID-19. The opposition has accused the government of hiding the real extent of the outbreak, a claim dismissed by the WHO. An Emirati prince called Assad to offer friendship and help. Some cities are on a lockdown. The epidemic is monopolising hospital services. In Aleppo, ventilators are made locally.
Lebanon’s Churches are adjusting to the restrictions imposed on Holy Week by the COVID-19 pandemic. The “picturesque and colourful" processions of Palm Sunday have been cancelled. Liturgical services will be held behind closed doors, but the faithful will be able to follow them via the Internet. The health crisis is a "dark night" that we must face as “one”.
Saudi authorities have imposed a total lockdown on the holy cities. Residents will only be able to leave home to buy food and medicines. Non-residents will not be allowed to enter. The minor pilgrimage has been suspended; Hajj is in doubt. Hajj minister calls on the faithful around the world to postpone bookings.
The archbishop of Colombo makes his supplication on the day of Our Lady of Seven Sorrows. This is the second vow a Church leader makes to Our Lady of Lanka. The first came in 1940 with the pledge to build a shrine to Mary if the country was spared from the world war.
An international NGO warns that 350,000 people are at risk. Overcrowding in camps and a poor health system are making matters worse. Only 80 ventilators are available in the country. Limited data make it difficult to understand the real extent of the epidemic. Fear mixed with resignation prevail in the population. Some fear violence.
Ashfaq Alamis, 43, and his mother-in-law Fazila Bibi, 62, are unemployed, without money or food. They risk being evicted. The country's "lockdown" has created a flood of 120 million jobless migrants. "My dignity has also been taken away from me." Premier Modi invites all Indians to light a candle on April 5 at 9pm "to fight the darkness" of the coronavirus.
With her, the list of regime critics has been incommunicado during the crisis is getting longer. There is also no news about the billionaire who called Xi Jinping a "clown", and a student from Shandong who told China’s president to resign. Xu Zhiyong, Xu Zhangrun and He Weifang have suffered the same fate.
Due to government restrictions, he was fired and fell ill. He worked on a gas pump and earned 600-700 rupees / less than $ 5 a day. Post mortem reveals he was not suffering from coronavirus. But the family didn't have the money to go to the doctor. The parish will guarantee food and education to the deceased's family.
Message from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on the occasion of Vesakh, the most important holiday for Buddhists. Buddhists are also invited to take part in the event on "Reinventing the Global Compact on education", which will be held in the Vatican on 15 October.
Francis recalls the Virgin Mary’s "seven sorrows". “She didn't ask herself to be a quasi-redeemer or a co-redeemer: no. There is one Redeemer and this title not a dual title. Only disciple and mother. And so, as a mother we must think of her, we must look to her, we must pray to her. She is the Mother”.
50,000 dead in Europe; almost 6 thousand in the US. China focuses on imported cases. Numbers remain low in Taiwan. Pyongyang: no case in our country. Nightly curfew imposed in Thailand. GDP growth in Asia-Pacific will slow down to 2.2%.
Only 150 infections in the country. People attribute the low number to the properties of isryk, the Syrian rue made from the harmala seed, already used as a sacred drink in the Aryan (Vedas) and Zoroastrian rites. But for the ministry of health "there is no scientific evidence" on the good effects of smoking the rue. The "Mongolian triangle", which also includes Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, is however one of the areas least affected by the pandemic.
Police threaten an electrician for violating the quarantine. The epidemic hits daily labourers the hardest. The government does nothing to help the jobless. Catholic students donate food parcels to the poor who cannot work because of the lockdown of economic activities.
About 170 families received food and other aid in the Diocese Vasai. After the government imposed a quarantine, people are out of work and money. Many are not entitled to food rations provided by the state. The risk of contagion is high.
Archbishop Santos notes that forced isolation should be an opportunity to enhance one’s understanding of the Lord. Fasting and abstaining are important acts of self-denial during Lent. The Archdiocese of Cebu makes the International Eucharistic Congress Center available for COVID-19 patients. The outbreak is spreading in the country.