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Myanmar’s Cardinal Bo calls for unity to fight surge in coronavirus cases

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar reiterated his call for an end to conflict on July 19 as he appealed for unity to address the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“Please, please stop all the conflicts. The only war we need to wage is against the lethal invisible virus, which proved to be invincible even to superpowers of the world,” said the prelate.

The cardinal made the call as the country marked Martyrs’ Day, a national holiday to commemorate the assassination of Myanmar’s founding leaders in 1947.

“Their blood was shed to make this country a great country,” said Cardinal Bo.

“As the COVID spirals out of control, inflicting fear, anxiety and death, the only way we can pay homage to the Martyrs’ sacrifice is to come together as one nation against the pandemic,” he said.

“This is not the time for inflicting wounds. This is the time to heal,” added the cardinal.

The country’s Health ministry reported that deaths from COVID-19 stood at 231 on Sunday from a record 233 on Saturday.

Health workers and funeral services, however, said the real toll is much higher, and crematoriums are overloaded.

The total official death toll has risen 50% already this month to 5,000 with the spread of the Delta variant that has also surged elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Cardinal Bo urged authorities “to facilitate the secure participation” of health workers and volunteers in fighting “the existential threat to us as a nation.”

“United we save lives; divided we will bury thousands. History will be the harshest judge if we fail in compassion,” he said.

“Let us come together. We have faced many challenges as a people and as a nation. We will face this challenge together,” said Cardinal Bo.

A health system that was already among the region’s weakest foundered after the February 1 military coup as many health workers joined a Civil Disobedience Movement to oppose the junta.

COVID-19 vaccination, testing and prevention measures all stalled. -


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