Concern is growing in the capital over a new wave that began in late April in Vènh Phúc province. The rosary is recited in the streets near Hanoi cathedral asking for an end to COVID-19 with many non-Catholics joining the prayer.
Hanoi (AsiaNews) – After a month-long lull, the pandemic is back in Vietnam. The local Catholic Church is once again at the forefront of caring and praying for the sick.
The new wave of the epidemic – the fourth in the country – started on 23 April at the Sunny Club, a bar in Vènh Phúc province.
In its latest update, Vietnam’s Mystery of Health reported 3,412 new cases.
In a statement, Hanoi’s Health Department said: “The current situation of the epidemic in Hanoi City has been complicated and there is a high risk of an outbreak of this disease.”
The chairman of the Hanoi People's (municipal) Committee announced that a medical zone at the Vietnam Agriculture Institute will be set up with 600 beds to isolate patients.
Hà Nam is one of the provinces most affected by new coronavirus cases. On 1 May, the authorities have locked down Đồng Yên village 5, in Lý Nhân district, which has a population of 1,200 people (320 households).
No one can leave or enter the area, with associated difficulties. For this reason, Hanoi Caritas, which covers Hà Nam province, has taken action to bring relief. Its director, Fr J B Nguyèn Văn Quang brought 3.8 tonnes of rice and other food supplies worth 52 million đồng (about US,250).
Beyond the material help, Caritas Hanoi is encouraging people to take steps to fight COVID-19 and prevent further outbreaks, adding prayers to solidarity.
On 2 May, at the beginning of the Marian month, Father Anthony Nguyèn Văn Thèng, the parish priest at Hanoi cathedral, called on the faithful to invoke God’s mercy through the Virgin Mary, to end the pandemic in Vietnam and the world.
Such an initiative ideally links up with the worldwide Rosary Marathon, bidden by Pope Francis, for this month of May, to stop the pandemic.
Wearing masks, numerous priests, nuns, members of Catholic associations and ordinary parishioners joined Hanoi cathedral to recite the Rosary in the streets near the cathedral.
When the statue of Our Lady passed by, many non-Catholics also stopped to pray for an end of the coronavirus pandemic.