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Coronavirus: Philippine bishop calls for solidarity and prayer

While acknowledging the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak, a Philippine Catholic Church official is calling on Catholics not to panic but rather to take care of themselves and others, including through prayers. “To be concerned, however, does not mean to be afraid, much less to feel helpless,” said Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo of Manila. “Plagues have been stopped not only through medical means but also through prayers and great acts of charity”


On February 2, the Philippines reported the first coronavirus death outside of China.  The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) said that the 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan was admitted to a hospital in Manila on Jan. 25 with fever, cough and sore throat before he developed severe pneumonia. His female companion also tested positive.

The 3rd confirmed case of coronavirus was reported on Wednesday.

The Philippine Catholic Church had earlier announced the “oratio imperata” (obligatory prayer) initiative for people affected by the virus and to prevent a global epidemic. 

While urging the people to follow safety measures and habits to avoid contagion and maintain a healthy lifestyle, Bishop Pabillo stressed that “the common good and the safety of the people should be the primary consideration of governments and institutions, not political expediencies, much less, profit concerns”.

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