As coronavirus spikes in Cuba, bishop calls for prayer to end pandemic

Rosary beads Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Bishop Juan de Dios Hernández Ruiz of Pinar del Río on Wednesday called on the faithful to pray that through the intercession of Our Lady of Charity the COVID-19 pandemic, which has seen a sharp rise in Cuba, would come to an end. 

On June 30, the Diocese of Pinar del Río posted on Facebook a letter signed by Bishop Hernández and addressed to the pastoral workers and faithful of the diocese and the country.

The bishop said that "the health situation of our country and especially our diocese, has worsened as a result of a huge increase in cases" of COVID-19, which has led "the country to declare it is in the Community Transmission phase.”

For the last week, Cuba has been undergoing an exponential increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 infections. According to the government, the island went from having an average of 1,473 new cases per day on June 21 over the previous seven days; to having on June 29, in the week prior, an average of 2,453 new cases per day (+66%).

With 188,000 cases of people infected with COVID-19, 172,000 people recovering (91%) and 1,270 (.07%) dying, the Ministry of Public Health decreed the island to be in the Community Transmission phase in order to impose a strict lockdown, cut transmission, and allow the healthcare system to make progress.

Bishop Hernández encouraged the faithful "not to grow weary in praying and to not lose hope."

“Therefore, with complete confidence that God, in his infinite mercy, hears the cry of his people when they turn to him with humility and repentance, I ask us to pray more fervently to God through the intercession of our Mother, the Our Lady  of Charity.” 

"We come to her as children in need, and at her feet we present the lives of so many who are ill and their relatives, the healthcare personnel and the health system authorities who, together with the people in general, long for the end of this pandemic."

Finally, he reminded the island’s inhabitants "that every measure that is taken is important, because human life is at stake, which is the greatest value we have.”

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