【慈幼通訊社 ─ 2021 年04月 29 日印度新德里訊】 ─ 印度面臨新一輪 2019 冠狀病毒疫情的威脅，嚴重程度引起全球關注：根據印度衛生部的資料顯示，國內今天錄得新型冠狀病毒死亡個案達3,645宗，比起昨天錄得的數字超過350宗，這確實是令人十分憂傷的數字。自疫情開始起計，印度錄得的死亡病例已上升至204,832宗。這對國內慈幼會管理的逾360所學校及500個機構，確實造成重大的衝擊。
慈幼會總部傳教議長 George Menamparampil 神父，擔任「鮑思高共融——2019冠狀病毒」計劃已逾一年，這是慈幼會為應對疫情的緊急狀況而展開的全球合作計劃。他親身見證印度的狀況說：「國內目前的困境，遠超我們正常能力應付的範圍：醫院病床、深切治療儀器、肺部呼吸機、氧氣、火葬焚化爐……」
(ANS – India– New Delhi, 29 April 2021) – India’s situation in the face of a new wave of Covid-19 infections is worrying at a global level: according to the Indian Ministry of Health, the country today recorded another 3,645 deaths from the coronavirus – a new, very sad record, an increase of more than 350 compared to yesterday – and the total casualties in India since the start of the pandemic thus rise to 204,832. Obviously this reality is also having a massive impact on the over 360 schools and 500 structures managed by the Salesian network in the country.
“The shortcomings in the country are beyond our normal competences: hospital beds, intensive care units, lung ventilators, oxygen, crematory ovens …,” testifies directly from India, Fr George Menamparampil, Head of the Salesian Mission Offices, and now over a year, the Coordinator of the “Don Bosco Solidarity – Covid-19” project, the Salesian global coordination initiative in the face of the pandemic emergency.
“In this context, what we are able to do for people in the current situation is:
– Distribute groceries, cooked food, protective equipment and toiletries, which we manage to deliver directly to the poor.
– Provide oxygen concentrators and/or mini oxygen-producing machines to hospitals and other treatment centers.
– Conduct awareness campaigns in favor of vaccination.”
Fr Menamparampil echoes Fr Noel Maddhichetty SDB, Director of the “Don Bosco Network – South Asia”, who believes that this new wave of infections has not yet reached its peak. “I expect a significant increase in the number of Covid-19 cases in the coming weeks. Public life has again come to a standstill.”
Those who have not been able to prepare now face enormous problems. In rural areas, especially, many people have not been swabbed, adds Fr Maddhichetty. “One priest from near Mumbai told me about villages in the region where many of the inhabitants had symptoms but where no test kits were available. Nor can the people here hope to receive any medical care or supplies.” As a result, it is very likely that coronavirus-related infections and deaths are still higher than the already tragic official figures.
The Salesians were forced to close all their schools in India. Students cannot take their school-leaving exams. There have also been cases of Covid-19 among teachers, staff and families of students and many are putting themselves in self-isolation as a precaution.
In recent months alone, according to Fr Maddhichetty, the Salesian intervention network has provided food and health products to more than seven million needy people in India, giving priority to people in street conditions and the most marginalized.
“Now Covid test kits, vaccines and medicines are urgently in need,” concludes Fr Maddhichetty.
Fr Menamparampil invites us to support the 11 Salesian Provinces of India in their efforts to meet the needs of the poor.