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Pakistan bishop calls for national unity to defeat Covid-19

Archbishop Shaw asks Catholics to 'show compassion for our enemies' as part of mask campaign

UCA News reporter, Lahore

UCA News reporter, Lahore

Updated: April 03, 2020 10:00 AM GMT
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Pakistan bishop calls for national unity to defeat Covid-19

Archbishop Sebastian Shaw addresses a news conference about the mask campaign in Lahore on April 1. (Photo supplied)

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Archbishop Sabastian Shaw of Lahore has urged Pakistan to unite and make collective efforts in the ongoing fight against Covid-19.

“This is the time to forge unity in order to save lives and defeat the novel coronavirus,” he told a news conference in Lahore on April 1 as part of the church’s campaign “Make Masks and Save Lives” campaign.

The Archdiocese of Lahore has made 15,000 masks and hand sanitizers and handed them to parishes in eight districts of Punjab.

“We have advised all parishes to distribute the masks without any religious, racial or sectarian discrimination,” Archbishop Shaw said.

“The Catholic Church is closely following and implementing the health guidelines being issued by the government. When the coronavirus started to spread in Pakistan, we trained 35 women on March 21 and gave them cash and clothes to make masks on an urgent basis.

“The masks will be distributed free of cost. We should also show compassion for our enemies and give masks to those we don’t like to talk to.”

The archbishop also expressed his concern for the safety of sanitary workers.

“We request the government of Pakistan to announce a special package for sanitary workers. These people are equally at risk. They live in small houses and if even one of them gets infected, this could lead to an outbreak in their communities,” he said

Father Francis Gulzar, vicar general of the archdiocese, thanked religious sisters, priests and donors.

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Pakistan reached 2,450 on April 3 with at least 38 deaths, according to official data.

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