The Vietnamese government has praised the efforts of local religious groups to monitor measures to contain the coronavirus and provide generous contributions to the victims.

Vu Chien Thang, deputy interior minister, said the fourth wave of the Covid-19 epidemic has caused thousands of infections every day and killed hundreds, leading many provinces and cities to impose closures, seriously affecting people’s lives.

Thang appreciated the religious groups working with the government to push back the epidemic step by step by suspending all religious activities and organizing online services. They made the difficult decision to suspend public religious activities as a way of showing responsibility to the nation and the community.

He said faith-based organizations donated to government-run funds for vaccinations, provided medical supplies to hospitals, called on their supporters to join the frontline forces, and provided plenty of food and basic items to the people. people in poverty.

On August 23, Thang sent letters of thanksgiving to bishops, Christian groups, the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, and two indigenous Buddhist sects – Hoa Hao and Tinh Do Cu Si Phat Hoi.

The government official said that local Buddhists use their places of worship as quarantine centers, many pagodas offer free coffins to families of Covid-19 victims, store their urns for free and pray for them. They also provide medical supplies to Cambodia, Laos, India and Nepal.

Your great dedication and donations help promote Christian values ​​in the fight against the pandemic

Thang, former head of the government committee for religious affairs, said followers of Buddhist sects based in southern provinces also provide medical care to Covid-19 patients in their clinics, have opened charity shops and donate free meals to quarantined communities and border officials. checkpoints. They also transport patients to hospitals.

“I am particularly impressed with the footage of Christian volunteers at high risk of infection caring for patients and distributing food to people in epidemic-affected areas and remote locations, as well as transporting medical supplies. to hospitals, “he said, adding that although many Christians are from ethnic groups and many are victims of Covid-19, churches are donating generously to fight the pandemic.

He praised many priests, religious and lay people who are committed to bringing tender care and the flame of love to hospital patients. “I am quite touched that many parishes and orders have used their facilities as quarantine centers and are working with local hospitals to admit patients to their facilities for care. Catholics report a clear determination to fight the pandemic and bring the peace to the nation, ”he said. .

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you for your great contribution. Your great dedication and donations help promote Christian values ​​in the fight against the pandemic, ”Thang said.

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The official also expressed his sincere sympathy to local Catholics who suffered damage and loss caused by Covid-19.

Thang called on religious groups to continue working with other sectors of society to contain the deadly pandemic and serve those in need.

On August 18, Father Joseph Nguyen Van Truc, who oversees youth ministry in the diocese of Can Tho, said Catholics who work and study in the epicenter of the contagion, Ho Chi Minh City, are suffering from lack of food, have no money to pay their rent, and need material and emotional support from the local Church.

Father Truc said that the diocese has launched the Can Tho program in our hearts to support them. He asked those in need in the city to register with their original priests for help from the diocese by August 28.

Vietnam has managed to contain the virus for much of last year, but since late April it has faced a surge in infections

On August 15, Archbishop Joseph Nguyen Chi Linh, president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Vietnam, said Catholics at home and abroad had donated 60 billion dong ($ 2.6 million) and countless tons of food and essentials to victims of Covid-19. in Ho Chi Minh City since he launched the charity program in July.

Archbishop Linh called on the local population to “continue to be centers of love to care for our brothers and sisters and contain the pandemic”.

Vietnam has managed to contain the virus for much of last year, but since late April it has faced a surge in infections fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant.

The Southeast Asian country has recorded 381,310 cases since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, with 9,349 deaths, according to government data.

Vietnam has so far administered around 16 million doses of the vaccine, but only 2 million people have been fully vaccinated among its population of 98 million.

On August 24, Father Joseph Dao Nguyen Vu, head of the Office of the Vietnamese Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said the Vatican had donated 100,000 euros ($ 118,000) to emergency aid and charity programs. managed by the Church in Vietnam to express Pope Francis’ emotional closeness to local Catholics.

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