02/17/2020, 11.55
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98-year-old bishop of Nanyang is the oldest patient to have recovered from coronavirus (Video)

Msgr. Zhu Baoyu fell ill on February 3, now he is out of danger. The "People's Daily" dedicated an article and a video to him. The memory of a PIME missionary.

Rome (AsiaNews) - The elderly bishop of Nanyang, Msgr. Joseph Zhu Baoyu is the oldest patient to have recovered from the coronavirus. The 98-year-old pastor had fallen ill with Covid-19 pneumonia on February 3. He has tested negative since February 12 and his lungs were declared no longer infected on February 14.

Msgr. Zhu was treated at the central hospital in Nanyang and in addition to the virus he also had other diseases such as arrhythmia and pleural effusions. He healed thanks to a thoracic drainage catheter. The healing of Msgr. Zhu was exceptional: so far all doctors and epidemiologists had said that coronavirus is fatal for older people and for patients who are suffering from other diseases.

In fact Msgr. Zhu has become a case in China and the "People's Daily" dedicated an article and a video to him.

PIME missionary, Sergio Ticozzi, who has known the bishop personally for over 50 years shared these reflections with us:

“The news of Mgr. Giuseppe Zhu Baoyu’s recovery from the coronavirus was a source of joy to me. When I met the bishop two years ago, he was in a wheelchair and lived in the convent of the diocesan nuns. At first glance he didn't recognize me but when a nun told him my name, he smiled at me and greeted me "My old friend". It was a moving meeting.

 I met Archbishop Zhu when he was still a simple priest in the early 1990s and I admired his physical prowess by seeing him ride a bicycle to visit the faithful, despite the sufferings passed in the years of imprisonment and re-education through labour. I saw him many other times. His predecessor, Archbishop Giuseppe Jin Dechen handed me the letter of request to have him as his auxiliary, to bring it to Rome. He was ordained bishop on March 19, 1995, the feast of his patron.

Even as a bishop he continued his daily ministry with simplicity and humility until health forced him to retire. He paid close attention to the needs of others. I remember on my visit to Nanyang, in conversation, I expressed my intention to go from Nanyang to Zhumadian. He was interested in how I would travel there and immediately phoned a friend of his to wait for me at the bus station. I really appreciated your concern. I rejoice in his recovery and pray to the Lord to bless him and keep him healthy for a long time. "

The diocese of Nanyang (Henan), once entrusted to the PIME missionaries, today has about 20 thousand Catholics, with about twenty priests and hundreds of nuns from the congregation of St. Joseph. Despite being very old, Msgr. Zhu is recognized by the government as an ordinary bishop and only a year ago Beijing recognized a coadjutor bishop for him, Msgr. Pietro Jin Lugang. For the Holy See, Msgr. Jin is the ordinary; Msgr. Zhu is an emeritus bishop.

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