© Fides

Catholic Volunteers Assist People Under Quarantine in Myanmar

Conversation with Bishop John Hsane Hgyi of Pathein

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“We need to help each other and show the widest solidarity towards the needy and vulnerable, while Myanmar is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”: this is the exhortation of Bishop John Hsane Hgyi, at the head of the diocese of Pathein, who told Fides how the Church in the country is actively engaged in assisting and supporting patients with Covid-19.

In recent days, the Bishop visited the quarantine centers organized by the government within the complex of the University of Pathein, in the region of Ayeyarwady in Myanmar, where many Catholic volunteers are present. “The reason we come here is to offer humanitarian aid. I am very grateful to those who have accepted our help and run this initiative”, said Bishop John Hsane Hgyi.

The Bishop visited the center at the invitation of Father Peter Myat Thura, director of the “Karuna” social service in Pathein, which corresponds to “Caritas”. The priest reports that most of the people residing in the center have returned from Thailand and must remain in isolation or have been tracked as “positive”. Catholics “are present in the organization, they bring food, medical material, and humanitarian aid to all people, regardless of religion, ethnicity”, he said.

The Bishop praised the people of Myanmar for how they faced the challenge of the pandemic through commitment, goodwill, an impulse of solidarity. “The exemplary attitude of the population of Myanmar is a good testimony and is good for the image of the Country. This historic moment is an opportunity”, says the Bishop, and the Burmese Catholic Church is taking this opportunity, especially thanks to the activity of “Karuna”, the Burmese Caritas.

Over 21,000 people have been put under quarantine in approximately 3,000 quarantine facilities, organized by institutions across Myanmar, as reported by the Ministry of Health.

Over 85,000 migrants returned from Thailand to Myanmar between the months of March and July, and another 44,000 returned from China, according to a report from the International Organization for Migration. So far 343 cases of Covid-19 have been identified in Myanmar, with six deaths and 282 recoveries.

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