Manipur, religious leaders pray together for the end of the pandemic

At the Fort of Imphal a joint initiative of Christians, Hindus and Muslims promoted by the local government. For the first day after in months, less than 100,000 new infections are registered. The mobilization of Catholic structures continues: at the Jesuit University of Calcutta offers 40 beds for sick people.

Jun 10, 2021

By Nirmala Carvalho
Exponents of different religions in prayer together for the end of the pandemic: the interreligious initiative - promoted by the head of the Indian state government of Manipur, Biren Singh - was led yesterday by the archbishop of Imphal, Msgr. Dominic Lumon.

Manipur is a small state in eastern India with a population of 2.85 million, mostly belonging to tribal groups. The majority are Hindus, but the second religious’ community are Christians who make up 41% of the population. There are 98 thousand Catholics.

The interreligious gathering was held at the West Gate of the Kangla Fort in Imphal. “It gives me immense pleasure to have the religious leaders of all the communities at a joint prayer session today. Coming together unitedly, each religious leader prayed for the almighty's divine intervention and blessings to relieve us from the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Singh.

To date, there have been 881 deaths in the state of Manipur and the number of positive cases has exceeded 9 thousand, with a contagion rate that remains above 8%, higher than the current national average.

The archbishop thanked the head of government for promoting the initiative: " Let us extend all our support to help administration in our collective fight against the deadly virus", said Archbishop Lumon.

The Catholic leader was joined by spiritual leaders of the Shree Govindaji Temple, the All Manipur Christian Organization, the Jamiat-Ul-Ulema, the Lainingthou Sanamahi Temple, the Tingko Ragwang Chaprik, the Giani Gurudwara Prabandahak Committee, the Shree Digambar Jain Samaj and of Kabui Poupei Chapriak.

Meanwhile, for the first time in two months today new cases dropped beneath 100 thousand in India: in the last 24 hours there were 86,498 positive cases, while the victims were 2,123 with a total number of 351.309 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

In a scenario that still remains serious, the mobilization of Catholic structures for the emergency continues: St. Xavier's University in Calcutta, the Jesuit university, has set up assistance centres with doctors, nurses, beds and oxygen. for patients to whom hospitals cannot respond.

Father J. Felix Raj, vice chancellor of the university, told AsiaNews: "We could not remain indifferent to what was happening around us: so we tried to give an answer".

Within the university structures and with the help of a local hospital and the government, 40 beds equipped with oxygen and the help of medical and paramedical personnel have been set up. Part of the Arrupe library and the university campus have been turned into an isolation centre for the neighbourhood’s coronavirus patients. This initiative by a Catholic university has also inspired other institutions to open their communities as centres for patient isolation. For example, at the request of the West Bengal government and in collaboration with St Xavier's University, the diocese of Asansol has started three other centres.

"The Chetana Ashram in Burdwan has 30 beds in seven rooms, in Asansol the St Joseph's School has 60 beds in eight classrooms and the Loreto School has another 50 beds for sick women," says Father Felix Raj. The facilities have already been active for more than a month: patients stay an average of ten days and all services are offered free of charge.––Asia News

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