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Indonesian archbishop, several priests catch Covid-19

Archbishop Sipayung of Medan 'stable' in hospital, church official says

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Indonesian archbishop, several priests catch Covid-19

Capuchin Archbishop Kornelius Sipayung of Medan in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province and four priests serving in the archdiocese have tested positive for Covid-19. (Photo supplied)

An Indonesian archbishop and four priests from his archdiocese in North Sumatra province have tested positive for Covid-19, an archdiocesan official announced on July 19.

Capuchin Archbishop Kornelius Sipayung of Medan and the four priests, including his vicar general, Father Michael Manurung, all tested positive last week, archdiocesan spokesman Father Benyamin A.C. Purba said in a video message.

The archbishop reportedly became the highest-ranking churchman in Indonesia to have contracted the virus.  

“His condition is stable,” said the spokesman, adding that the archbishop and the priests were being treated in hospital.

He did not reveal details about the condition of the other priests.

Father Purba also said an archdiocesan staffer had also tested positive, while another two priests and a nun were self-isolating. 

He called on anyone who had contact with those infected to immediately seek medical advice.

The spokesman also called on Catholics in the archdiocese to pray for those infected. “We need to pray for them. Our thoughts and prayers are what they need,” he said.

As of July 19, Indonesia had recorded 86,517 Covid-19 cases and 4,143 deaths. Of this number, North Sumatra province has recorded 2,937 cases and 147 deaths.

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