Central America’s bishops have urged their governments and people to join together to provide health care and protect lives as the Covid-19 pandemic heaps misery and economic consequences on one of the poorer parts of the hemisphere.
In a 5th July statement, the episcopal secretariat of Central America, known by its Spanish acronym as SEDAC, referenced Pope Francis’ admonishment, “We can only get out of this situation together as a whole humanity,” and added: “We’re all in the same boat. No-one should be forgotten. We all must get involved. Governments and citizens must join together in a common effort in favor of health and people’s lives.
“We all must comply with the health security measures to protect the lives of our brothers and sisters,” a reference to the calls for lifting quarantines and reopening churches, even as the pandemic continues claiming lives. The statement was signed by the secretariat’s president, Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas, and its secretary-general, Cardinal Gregorio Rosa Chavez – both of San Salvador, El Salvador.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused hardship in Central America, where poverty afflicts many and forced quarantines have denied millions a way to make ends meet. It’s also exposed shortcomings in underfunded and underequipped health systems, left unprepared by neglect and corruption.
Picture: Medical staff in Darien, Panama, talk to migrants at Lajas Blancas camp on 5th June 2020, where migrants from Africa, Cuba and Haiti are stranded due to the coronavirus pandemic. (CNS photo/Abraham Teran, Reuters).