NEW DELHI (CNS) — Catholic officials in India are working to help citizens get help during the second wave of COVID-19 and the accompanying lockdown.
“Our priority now is to save as many lives as possible,” Archbishop Victor Henry Thakur of Raipur told ucanews.com. He said with movements restricted, the archdiocese is reaching out to as many people as possible through neighborhood networks to provide food and medical help, including getting patients admitted to hospitals.
Bishop Jose Chittooparambil of Rajkot told ucanews.com: “We are providing medical care to people under trees and makeshift tents, as our priority is to save as many lives as possible.” Suspected patients who need home quarantine are provided accommodation in church buildings, he said, since most village families live together in small mud houses where quarantine is not possible.
Archbishop Thakur said that, during the first wave of the pandemic last year, Catholic activists helped migrant workers with cooked meals, drinking water and other basic requirements. “The priority has changed now,” the archbishop said. Ucanews.com reported medical facilities are overwhelmed with more than 300,000 new infections across India daily.
On Long Island, Bishop Philipos Stephanos Thottathil of the St. Mary, Queen of Peace Syro-Malankara Catholic Eparchy of the U.S. and Canada declared that all 20 parishes and missions of his eparchy dedicate May 9 as a day of prayer in solidarity with the people of India, which is presently the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. He celebrated a Divine Liturgy at St. Vincent de Paul Syro-Malankara Catholic Cathedral in Elmont. Below are photos from the liturgy. (Catholic News Service photos/Gregory A. Shemitz)