ASIA/THAILAND – State of emergency extended due to Coronavirus: between uncertainty and worry, missionaries do not stop

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Lamphun – “In the province many villages have been completely closed. The cathedral is closed in Chiangmai as well as all schools. There was also an outbreak in the interdiocesan seminary, 11 seminarians who returned home from the North for the closure of the courses were all infected with Covid-19”. This is what Fr. Ferdinando Pistore, fidei donum missionary in Lamphun, writes to Agenzia Fides. “Concern is growing in the villages – he explains – in Lamphun we manage to celebrate daily mass among us, 2 priests and 2 nuns who live in the neighboring house; last Sunday we managed to open mass to about fifteen faithful. We still have no idea what Sunday will be like”.
The missionary said that in recent days the average of infections detected is about 15,000 per day. “Today, July 27, there are 14,150, of which 245 detected in prisons. The active infected are growing daily. Today they reached 174,748. The vaccination campaign continues to register delays despite vaccine donations that also come from abroad and from the Red Cross”. “It is not forbidden to move, although it is best to avoid. In these specific contexts, technology helps, the telephone remains a great tool”, explains the priest who shared the joy of being able to get the medicines needed for the community to Myanmar. Air traffic has practically stopped, as well as interprovincial transport, especially in relation to the dark red provinces. In Bangkok, the night curfew continues and various businesses have been closed.
“To this dramatic reality are added the protests taking place in Bangkok by the movement calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha . There are also serious cases of repression of gatherings, complaints against journalists and public figures accused of criticizing the government with the spread of false news that damage the stability of the country in this difficult time. Thus, as in other countries, the state of emergency has been prolonged”, concludes Fr. Pistore.