Vatican City, Jan 26, 2020 / 06:30 am
Pope Francis prayed Sunday for people infected by the coronavirus, which has killed 56 people in China.
“May the Lord welcome the deceased in his peace, comfort families and support the great commitment of the Chinese community, already put in place to fight the epidemic,” Pope Francis said in his Angelus address Jan. 26.
Originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus has spread to nine countries with 1,975 confirmed cases.
The World Health Organization’s latest report Jan. 25 stated that among the confirmed cases, 237 people have been reported as severely ill.
The number of people with coronavirus has increased by 655 cases in the 24-hours since the WHO report’s release, the Chinese government reported Jan. 26, one day after Lunar New Year. Hundreds of millions of people travel for the holiday, which is the biggest celebration of the year in China.
Wuhan, a city around the size of London, has been on lockdown since Jan. 23 with restrictions on travel by trains, planes, ferries, and cars. The United States Embassy is working to evacuate all American citizens in Wuhan.
A third U.S. case of coronavirus was confirmed in California on Jan. 26.
Outside of China, coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Australia, France, South Korea, Vietnam, Nepal, and the United States in Chicago, Seattle, and Orange Country. There are currently suspected cases among recent travelers from China in Canada, Portugal, and the Ivory Coast.