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India

Church offers facilities to treat Covid-19 in Indian state

Mizoram is short of care centers after a sudden spike in coronavirus cases

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Church offers facilities to treat Covid-19 in Indian state

Zoram Medical College is Mizoram's only dedicated Covid-19 hospital. (Photo: zmc.edu.in)

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The Catholic Church in India’s northeastern state of Mizoram has joined efforts to tackle Covid-19 as the state faces a strain on healthcare facilities.

In state capital Aizawl, two Presbyterian churches and a Young Mizo Association (YMA) branch have offered their halls to be used as care centers where infected people will be treated.

Bishop Stephen Rotluanga of Aizawl told UCA News that the Church has offered schools, institutes and vocational centers to the government to be used as 17 quarantine centers.

“If needed, we are ready to give more as the state is witnessing an increasing number of Covid-19 cases,” he said.

“Young Mizo Association is very powerful and active in the state and it is an organization of all church denominations. Youth association members are even risking their lives to help Covid-affected people, helping them with food and taking them to care centers.

“We have also contributed 300,000 rupees to the Prime Minister’s Care Fund. More than 194 churches from different denominations have come forward and are lending their halls for quarantine facilities in the state.”

Meanwhile, health official Z.R. Thiamsanga said Tuikhuahtlang and Venghnuai Presbyterian churches have offered their halls to tackle the shortage of facilities. Electric Veng YMA branch has also donated its hall.

“The church and the people as a whole are very open-hearted to help the government. They have set a good example of helping the government when it is in crisis,” Thiamsanga said.

Thiamsanga, a legislator of the ruling Mizo National Front, said the state has only one dedicated Covid-19 hospital — Zoram Medical College — where Covid-19 symptoms and co-morbidities are being treated. Asymptomatic patients are mainly treated at care centers.

Mizoram had recorded 1,468 coronavirus cases with 919 recoveries as of Sept. 16.

Mizoram, sandwiched between Bangladesh and Myanmar, is one of India's three Christian-majority states. Christians form close to 90 percent of the state's 1.1 million people. Some 8 percent are Buddhists, making Hindus a tiny minority of 2.7 percent.

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