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Indian archbishop fasts to spell out Covid-19 danger

Archbishop Cornelio joins Madhya Pradesh's chief minister in an event to raise awareness as the pandemic spreads

UCA News reporter, Bhopal

UCA News reporter, Bhopal

Published: April 06, 2021 05:00 PM GMT

Updated: April 07, 2021 09:54 AM GMT

Indian archbishop fasts to spell out Covid-19 danger

Archbishop Leo Cornelio says people must take Covid-19 seriously. (Photo supplied)

A Catholic archbishop joined an Indian state’s chief minister on a special one-day fast to create awareness among people about the need to protect themselves from Covid-19.

“It is our duty and responsibility to protect ourselves and others from the danger of Covid-19,” said Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal.

Madhya Pradesh’s Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan started a 24-hour fast in state capital Bhopal on April 6 in a specially erected tent.

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He said it is time that “we all should take a firm resolution that we will wear masks and encourage others” to do so to ensure the safety of everyone.

Archbishop Cornelio was among many religious leaders who joined Chouhan on his fast.

“It is high time that we all take the pandemic seriously and prepare to protect ourselves from its impending attack that could be fatal for many and precarious for others,” the prelate told UCA News on April 7.

“We need to ensure our safety by following government protocols when we move in public as it is essential to ensure that we do not become a carrier.

“We need to cover our faces and wash our hands regularly as prevention is better than cure.”

Archbishop Cornelio praised Chouhan for his special initiative to reach out to people about Covid-19.

Father Maria Stephen, public relations officer of the Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh, told UCA News on April 7 that “we are now in a war with Covid-19” and urged everyone to be more serious about their health.

Church leaders, the priest said, had issued a special appeal to all its institutional heads in the state including schools to follow Covid-19 protocols and maintain social distancing to contain the spread of the virus.

Hindu, Muslim and Sikh leaders shared a stage with Chouhan and exhorted people to take the fresh wave of Covid-19 seriously.

Madhya Pradesh is among 13 Indian states where more than 1,000 new Covid-19 cases have been reported daily since the end of March. The central state has recorded 4,073 coronavirus deaths and 285,743 cases since the pandemic began.

It has already ordered a total lockdown in major cities on Sundays and imposed curfews from 10pm to 6am.

The western state of Maharashtra continues to be India’s worst-affected state. It reported 20,916 new cases and 297 deaths on April 6 as policymakers try to tackle a fresh wave of the outbreak.

Federal authorities said 630 people died in India from Covid-19 on April 6, taking the death toll to 166,177.

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